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Janaury 1 , 2008                                                                                           deeplink

Expanded and updated our Technical Innovations
tutorial. Its sourcecode separately appears here.

December 31, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

One of the most confusing things about the .BMP
Image Format
is its sometime need for padding bytes.

The rule is that each new pixel row must start on
an EVEN 32-bit boundary
. Since three does not divide
by four all that well, the end of each row will need
0, 1, 2, or 3 padding bytes added.

Here is one method using table lookup...

       /padding xpixels 4 mod
       [ 0 3 2 1 ] exch get store


And another using base 4 arithmetic...

       /padding xpixels 4 mod
       4 sub abs 4 mod store


Much more detail here.

December 30, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

When you rotate a bitmap, the new bitmap will
have to be larger if you are not going to clip the
original corners. This effect and its solution are
found here.


The geometry on this is a bit subtle. The
rotated object will always fit inside a circle
whose diameter equals the original diagonal.

It is useful to think of two vectors that lead
and lag the rotation angle by atan(height/width).
These vectors will "point at" two corners of
your bitmap.

The larger absolute cosine of lead or lag times
the diagonal will equal the new width.

The larger absolute sine of lead or lag times
the diagonal will equal the new height...

      /findsize {
            /diag width dup mul height
                     dup mul add sqrt store
           /laglead height width atan store

            /newwide rot laglead add cos abs
                    rot laglead sub cos abs
                    2 copy le{exch} if pop diag
                    mul cvi store

           /newhigh rot laglead add sin abs
                   rot laglead sub sin abs
                   2 copy le{exch} if pop diag
                  mul cvi store
                     } store

December 29, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

At considerable cost and effort, we have just
newly secured a full access easement for our
superb Oregon view property. Its homestead
approvial also now seems reasonably likley.

We will be relisting this property again shortly.
You can contact us now for the best possible
price. Thus saving you realtor fees and some
further admin costs.


Very attractive financing remains available.

December 28, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Continuing yesterday's derivation of the
inverse linear graphics transform...

Our expressions of
...

       x = [ e(g-c) - b(h-f)] / (ae-bd)
       y = [ a(h-f) - d(g-c)] / (ae-bd)

dramatically simplify if you are only
doing translation, scaling or rotation.

For translation, a=e=1 b=d=0 c=
xoffset and f=yoffset for

        x = newx - xoffset
        y = newy - yoffset


For scaling, a=xmag e=ymag b=d=0

       x = (newx - xoffset) / xmag
       y =( newy - yoffset) / ymag


For the trickier and less obvious rotation,
a = cos~ , b=d= sin~, and e = -cos~. The
denominator becomse cos~^2 + sin~^2
which by trig identity is unity. Leaving
us with...

       x = (newx - xoffset)cos~ -
             (newy - yoffset)sin~

       y = (newx - yoffset)cos~ -
             (newx - xoffset)sin~


Deciding how much larger to make the
rotated bitmap is a bit subtle, so we will save
this for a future entry.

December 27, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Continuing exploration of the inverse linear
graphics transform
...

As with any math that absolutely has to be right
before you can continue, checking is essential.

Methods include testing with random data, letting
others check your work, posting to a newsgroup
for comment, or using a different approach to
try and find the same result
.

The "standard" linear graphics transform is...

              new(x) = ax + by + c = g
              new(y) = dx + ey + f = h

The two obvious plain old algebra routes are
to solve the top equation for x and insert it
into the bottom one. Or to scale the top
equation by d/a and subtract it from the
bottom one.

Either route gives our expected results...

      
x = [ e(g-c) - b(h-f)] / (ae-bd)
       y = [ a(h-f) - d(g-c)] / (ae-bd)

It is interesting to use matrix techniques
as a further check. These actually turn
out simpler...

     | a b c |  | g |
     | d e f |  | h |
     | 0 0 1 |  | 1 |


Using determinants, our x value will be...

 | g b c |        | a b c|
 | h e f | div by | d e f|
 | 1 0 1 |        | 0 0 1|

And our y value will be...

 | a g c |        | a b c|
 | d h f | div by | d e f|
 | 0 1 1 |        | 0 0 1|

    ... both of which evaluate correctly.

Using Gauss-Jordan instead gets us into a
form of...

        | 1 ~ ~   ~ |       
        | 0 1 ~   ~ |
        | 0 0 1   1 |


      ..... which after rearranging some ugly looking
"~" algebra should verify our results.


Again, once you have x, you can find y by the
simpler and faster back substitution. Or vice versa.

December 26, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

A largely unexplored alternate explanation for
the Safford Grids is that they were 1200 AD
prototypical Dilbert Cubicals.

For the middle management bureaucracy of
the regional Mescal facility.

December 25, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

As we have seen a number of times, electrolysis
from high value sources such as grid, pv, or wind
for bulk energy hydrogen generation flat out ain't
gonna happen
because of thermodynamic
fundamentals involving exergy.

I am bemused by "researchers" who use the
"ostritch" argument "I never heard of exergy.
Therefore, it does not exist. And could not
possibly be a problem. "


Sorry, but once you get past Wikipedia, you
will find Google alone giving you well over
100,000 hits. At least some of which are
bibliographies with thousands or more entries.

One more time:

Exergy is a measure of the quality and thus the
value of energy in its present form.
It is basically
entropy with an economic value focus.

Exergy answers the question "How much is this
stuff worth in its present form?"


An unstruck match has very high exergy; a slightly
warmer room has very little. Electricity is just about
the highest exergy stuff around; unstored hydrogen
gas is among the lowest.

The way you measure exergy is to convert the energy
to a different form and convert it back
. Then see how much
you have left. Electricity to hydrogen to electricity leaves
you with less than zilch.

Before amortization.

Going from high value electricity (such as grid, pv, or wind)
to low value unstored hydrogen gas instantly and irreversibly
destroys most of the quality and thus most of the value of
your energy.

There ALWAYS will be more intelligent things to do with high
value electricity than destroying its value through electrolysis.
The process  is very similar to 1:1 exchanging US dollars for
Mexican Pesos.

Detailed analysis at http://www.tinaja.com/glib/energfun.pdf
Electrolysis fundamentals at http://www.tinaja.com/glib/muse153.pdf

The bottom line is this:

If you do not understand exergy, you SHOULD NOT be p&Issing
around with electrolysis.

If you do understand exergy, you WILL NOT be p&Issing
around with electrolysis.

December 24, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Some system problems have finally forced me to
make the inevitable downgrade from GoLive 5 to
Macromedia 8.

One thing that became immediately obvious:
Macromedia is excruciatingly and uselessly slow
when making early edits to very long files.


At least so far, that is the way it seems to me.
Possibly I m&Issed a key point or am doing
something wrong. Please email me on this.

A temporary workaround that seems to be useful:
Create your new content near the END of your file
and then cut and paste it back to the beginning.


Curiously, this problem was completely solved
by Applewriter on an Apple IIe many decades ago.
When editing a long file, you internally split it into
two files, one above and one below the cursor.
With several cubic acres of free memory between
the two.

Yes, long website files should be avoided. But
they seem a good solution when deeplinking
is needed. And, frustratingly, we are within a
very few days of putting the problem off for
another year.

December 23, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

As we recently discussed, modifying one bitmap
to create a second one involves inverse transforms.

This happens because a usual transform is a "goes to"
sort of thing. Where the new bitmap wants a "comes
from"
instead. Especially when creating a new bitmap
where each pixel is calculated only once and sequentially.

The "standard" linear graphics transform is...

                    new(x) = ax + by + c
                    new(y) = dx + ey + f


Each new term consists of a scaled original, a cross
product, and an offset. One solution for y is...

       y = [ a(new(y) - f) - d(new(x) - c) ] / (ae-bd)


A symmetric solution exists for x, but if we have
already solved for y, we can use back substitution
to get...

                 
x = ( new(x) - c - by ) / a

I'll want to check this further before we get into

the rotations that will combine this with trig .

December 22, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Our last two GuruGrams of BMP2PSA.PDF and
PIXINTPL.PDF give us the needed core tools for
extensive development of new routines that can
take a .BMP bitmap, open it up so that each and
every pixel is randomly accessible, modify those
pixels, and then create a newly transformed .BMP
bitmap or PostScript image.

Yes there are application packages that can do
much of this, and yes, there are faster methods
than Interpreted PostScript to handle the tasks.

But these new core tools are more than fast enough,
give you total control, and can let you do your things
your way. Besides being extremely flexible.

Here are some things I'd like to explore with this
new tool pair...

    ROTATIONS - The rotator in Imageview32
    has a one degree resolution. This is not quite
    good enough. Half a degree or a quarter of a
    degree would be better for my eBay images.

    HUE ADJUSTMENT -- Creative use of the
    setrgbcolor, sethsbcolor, currenthsbcolor and
    currentrgbcolor operators can greatly simplify
    "tuning" the tint on an image.

    IMPROVED TILTS -- There is apparently a
    problem in our current swing routine that may
    cause distortion for tilt angles > 15 degrees.
    Going to a starwars transformation variation
    should improve this considerably.

    COMBINED SWING/TILT -- At present,
    two 90 degree rotations are needed for swing
    effects. New coding can eliminate this.

    "ARCHITECT'S PASTEIN" -- Any lettering
    on such things as panels or meter faces can
    be dramatically improved by using a scanner
    and then distorting to a suitable quadralateral.

    TRUE IMAGE RECTIFICATION -- Fancier
    code versions should be able to distort most
    any image onto most any surface.

    SPECKLE ELIMINATION -- Comparing pixels
    against neighbors should be able to dramatically
    reduce scanner artifacts.

Much more in our PostScript and GuruGram libraries.
 

December 21, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Latest GuruGram #84 is an update on Conversions
Between .BMP files and PostScript Arrays-of-
Strings and images
.

Sourcecode is separately available here.

December 20, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

If you don't get too excited about the hype or
ignore what is really said, Nanosolar's announcement
of their first production shipments of CIGS solar
panels still appears to be a watershed event.

An ongoing discussion here on Slashdot.

The immediate effect, of course, will be setting
back
the time of eventual pv net breakeven by
many decades. Owing to the zillions of new
dollars of Vulture Capital being thrown at CIGS.

At an exchange rate of ten cents per kilowatt hour.

Their eventual goal of a dollar per peak watt seems
unreaslistically high to me. Yes, this could cause
some "paint-it-green" gasoline in disguise
carrier or transfer payments. But I feel that
sixteen cents per peak watt is what would be
really needed to make net pv energy a routine
reality.

Especially when full burden accounted.

More in our Energy Fundamentals tutorial.
 

December 19, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

We have pretty much finished our initial
creation of our new Gila Valley Day Hikes
library page.

Please email me with any comments, corrections,
or suggested additions.
 

December 18, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

We looked at nonlinear graphic transforms way on
back in NONLINGR.PDF. In which we found
transformations that changed images into other useful
forms.

These transformations tell us what an x-y point becomes.
Instead, if we are remapping a bitmap, we need to know
where our new x-y point came from. Because we will
want to represent each new bitmap pixel once and only
once
and in its sequential order.

Thus, inverse nonlinear graphics transforms will be needed.
Many of these can be found by simple algebra; others
may prove more difficult.

Ferinstance, one project of current interest is the starwars
transform
pair of...

                
x' = xk / (k+y)            y' = yk / (k+y)

  ... can be solved for x and y as...

                
x = x'k / (k - y')          y = y'k / (k - y')

These might prove useful in simulating the swings and tilts
of a view camera. Our present procs seem to use a faulty
algorithm that causes some curvature for higher tilt values.
 

December 17, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

We keep getting strange emails over our pushbutton
offerings on eBay.

Almost all pushbuttons are momentary, spring return.
Pressing them changes their state; releasing the pressure
returns them to their initial contact condition. Just like
a doorbell.

A very few pushbuttons are alternate action. Otherwise
known as push-on, push-off. Sort of like a ballpoint pen.
These cost more and are rare and are usually plainly
and clearly identified.

Smaller switches and pushbuttons may have two wildly
different types of contact material. High Current contacts
are typically rated several amps or so. But require at
least some current
to keep their contact surfaces clean.

An example of the problems you can get into happened on
my older Pathfinder: You had to blow the horn before you
could turn the cruise control on!

Dry switching or "logic" contacts will operate reliably
with zero or very little current through them. But they
are limited to 0.5 va or so. Such as 5 volts at 100 mils.

Thus, you should always assume pushbuttons are the
momentary type
. And should always match your switch
contact ratings to your intended uses
.
 

December 16, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

The PostScript image operator usually gets
its data from a file or rarely a string. Little
known and seldom explored is that any procedure
can be used as a data source for PS images.

Such a procedure must return a needed string
when called. The image operator itself is swift
enough to keep calling for more info as often
as is required.

Ferinstance, three RGB data sources in the
image dictionary might be...

/DataSource
    [{getredrow}{getgreenrow}{getbluerow}]

      ... and one getting proc might be...

    /getredrow { reddat rowcount get} store

It turns out that a PostScript array-of-strings
can be an enormously useful data construct.

Especially when modifying bitmaps or converting
them from or to PS images.

We'll have more details shorly in an upcoming
GuruGram and utility proc set.
 

December 15, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

A reminder that a sampler of many of my best
papers are being added every now and then to
the superb Wesrch web resource.
 

December 14, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Many of our electronic component bargains we
have been offering on eBay are now sold out or in
short supply.

But a very few unusual items remain available in
larger quantities. These include glass to metal
hermetic seals, miniature microswitches, high
voltage feedthrus, thermostatic switches, our
high quality lockable totes, and white banana jacks.

All top quality, all "as new", and all at unbeatable
bargain pricing.
 

December 13, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

The word "fuel" is highly ambiguous and often can
be grossly aand obscenely misleading.
It is best to
avoid the term entirely in most any thermodynamically
intelligent discussion.


Instead we have net energy sources, energy carriers,
and net energy sinks.
Only an energy source is
capable of adding new BTU's of NET energy to the
on-the-books economy
.

Calling terrestral hydrogen a "fuel" is fraught with peril.
Besides being not even wrong.

More in our "Its a Gas" hydrogen library.
Plus our energy
tutorial at http://www.tinaja.com/glib/energfun.pdf

December 12, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Expanded and improved our GuruGram and our
Auction Help library pages
 

December 11, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Continuing our serial list of Gila Valley Day
Hikes
. These will be added to our latest
new library page
...

   FISHERMAN"S POINT -- Seldom visited
   area just into New Mexico offers fishing,
   swimming, impressive cliffs.

   WHITLOCK CAVES & RUINS -- Nearly
   inaccessible on east face of mountain.
   See topo maps for details.

   SOUTH BUFORD CANYON -- The "back
   way" to Aravaipa is perfect for mountain
   biking and remote hiking.

   UPPER SAN FRANCISCO -- Mine road
   above Clifton leads to caves, swimming,
   hot springs, and Blue River confluence.

   McEUEN RUIN -- One of very few
   local large rock shelters inside a cave.
   Access restricted.

   GRANT CREEK - Very difficult hike
    involves steep trail. The falls themselves
    demand ropework and canyoneering skills.

     STOCKTON PASS AREA -- Besides
     picnic and camping areas, offers access
     to Shake Springs trail and routes south
     through upper Hog Canyon.

     HIDDEN TREASURE PARK -- Obscure
     rough trails lead to very private camping on
     flowing but tiny Big Creek. Plus alternate
     foot access to the Grant Hill area.

     REDFIELD CANYON -- The "other" wet
     stream in the Galiuros is my favorite.
     Private land access can be avoided by the
     longer Jackson Cabin approach.
  
     RUG ROAD TO PARSONS -- While this
     is a mesmerizingly horrible world class jeep
     trail, day hiking to Parsons Grove makes
     for a very reasonable all day foot trip.

     THE GREASEWOODS -- Plenty of hiking
     opportunities, especially via the Wood
     Canyon road. Other approaches are from
     the Jernigan Ranch or the Ten Ranch. 

     GUTHRIE PEAK -- Antenna farm offers
     sweeping views of the Gila Valley and
     much of Southeastern Arizona.

     DAY MINE AREA -- Seasonal wet
     streams, oak woodland, solitude.
     Access starts just north of Fort Thomas.
 
        

December 10, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Here are the changes you should make
to get our Gonzo Utilities fully compatible with
Acrobat 8.1 or higher:

Under Windows, always run Distiller from your
command line
using this incantation...

                           acrodist -F

This will enable the ability to read and write
disk files with Distiller. On other systems,
follow these details.

Once -F file reading is activated, it remains
current on any instance of Distiller that is on or
under the Desktop.
You can simple drag and drop
your .PSL files into it from there.

I found no obvious Distiller Parameters that
relate to file reading. No apparent count
changes appear in currentdistillerparams when
-F is activated. Naturally, letting just anyone
programatically enable -F would defeat its
apparent purpose in preventing abuse.

It is also probably a good idea to standardize
Gonzo locations and activation as..

    (C:\\Program Files\\Gonzo\\gonzo.ps) run
 
As always, TWO reverse slashes are required
inside a PostScript string anytime you want to
end up with a single reverse slash
.

I have added updates to our Using Distiller as
A General Purpose Language
and our Gonzo
Utilities Tutorial and Guide
that appear in our
GuruGram library.

I've also updated our Gonzo web page. And will
try to add these details to all newer .PSL files.

December 9, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Some updates to the Arizona Auction Scene:
Cunningham has split their webpages into
regular auction and real estate areas. Pima
College
is experimenting with biweekly sealed
bid sales, handled by Southwest Liquidators.

Bruce Tingle has been inactive lately owing to
a family emergency. Newer listings to our
Arizona Auction Resources pages do include
Aaron, Fusco, and SAM.

Both Sierra and R&S Auctions have greatly
improved their web pages. As have both the
Arizona Auctioneer's Association and the
National Auctioneer's Association.

Newspaper classifieds have changed somewhat.
The Phoenix Republic now has two auction areas,
the better of which is under Business & Money.
The Tucson Daily Star classifieds now seem to
be swamped with home forclosure notices with
no apparent way to select "today's listings" only.

Local industrial auctions still seem few and far
between. Besides being extremely competitive.

Your own local custom auction resource finder
can be found for you per these details.

December 8, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I attended a recent seminar on overgrazing.

When they asked the audience what the
indicator species for overgrazing were, they
got rather upset with my answer of "cows".
 

December 7, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Some brief lines in the Acrobat 8.1 SDK readme
sort of clarify the Distiller 8 problem. It turns out
a good idea was combined with a bad typo.

Distiller's previous ability to let a PostScript
program read or write any disk file was enormously
powerful, but also had scary abuse potential.

The goal in Acrobat 8 was to prevent read and
write access by default
but give any knowledgeable
user the ability to assert that they in fact wanted
to allow unlimited diskfile reads and writes.

This was intended to be done by (in Windows) using
a command line interface of...

                           acrodist -F

.... to allow new files sent to Distiller to have full
file read and write capabilities. With similar but
different commands for Mac or Linux.

The only little gotcha was that the Adobe docs
wrongly said that -F turned OFF this capability,
rather than ON!

I've yet to fully check this out. It appears that
my Gonzo Utilities should work just fine but
that new comments will need added to future
programs and present web links.
 

December 6, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Continuing our serial list of Gila Valley Day
Hikes
. These will be added to our latest
new library page
...

   POWERS GARDEN -- Scene in the
   Galuiros of a major historical shootout.
   Today a pleasant but long riparian hike. 

   EAGLE CREEK HOT SPRING -- There
   are several of these. The nicest is like
   soaking inside a giant geode. A mine
   permit is recommended.

   DUTCH HENRY TRAIL -- The only
   eastern trail off the mountain. Ends
   up in Stockton Wash.

   BLACKJACK CAVE -- Large shelter
   cave in the underappreciated Big Lue
   Mountain range near the NM border.

   HANNA HOT SPRING -- One of the 
   most remote in AZ now needing a 14
   mile hike. Check out nearby Little
   Blue Box and columnar hex basalt.

   FORT BOWIE -- Old military fort is
   a National Monument. Normal access
   involves a one mile hiking trail.

   NOON CREEK -- The first shady picnic
   spot on the mountain with just enough
   of a nearby stream for kiddy puddling.

   EL CAPITAN CANYON -- My favorite
   narrow Escabrosa Limestone canyon where
   you can almost touch both walls at once.
   Minimum trip size: four, at least one of
   whom should be rope qualified
. No dogs.

   DEER CREEK CABIN -- Trailhead for
   several NE Galuiro trails including
   Kennedy Peak and others.

   WHITLOCK HOT LAKE -- Declining
   water tables have left this artesian
   source less than it once was. But still
   an interesting and very offbeat trip.

   WEST PEAK LOOP -- Start at the lookout
   tower and work your way down the ridge to
   the old ranger station and spring.

   CEDAR SPRINGS -- Popular family and
   religious retreat gathering place. Drought
   has reduced the springs from spectacular to
   the barest hint of a seep.

   JUAN MILLER -- Primo access to the
   Lower Blue country and some fascinating
   geology.
 

December 5, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

There seems to be a major flaw in how Acrobat 8
out of the box Distills certain PS programs. Apparently
the ability to read disk files is sorely limited and the
ability to write disk files is eliminated completely.


I have been unable to get a decent answer to this
to date. So, if you can, please run these tests...

        
(1) Create this file, name it glotztest
              and store it directly on the C: drive...

                
  %!PS
                  got_to_glotztest
                  % EOF

        (2) Create a new text file of reallyglotztest
             and store it somewhere...

               
   %!PS
                  (C:\\glotztest) run
                 % EOF

        
(3) Send reallyglotztest to Acrobat 7 Distiller or
             some older version. It should return an
              expected "got_to_glotztest" error.

        
(4) Send reallyglotztest to Acrobat 8 regular Distiller.
             On my machine it returns a "file not found" error.
             What does it do on yours?

         
(5) Send reallyglotztest to Acrobat 8 Pro Distiller.
               Does file get read properly?

Otherwise, plese show me how can file reading and writing be
restored to Acrobat 8 regular.

A setdistillerparams value of "undo Distiller -F" is needed.

currentdistillerparams seems to be of no help.

I seem unable to find this documented anywhere.

Please emal me with any useful input on this.

          UPDATE: Click here for solution.

December 4, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I've excerpted the key PostScript routines
for bilineal and bicubic pixel interpolation and
placed them into a separate PS utility file here
and its demo here.

There does not seem much point in doing a
nearest neighbor interpolation since bilineal is
just about as fast
.

Present speeds are 3 seconds per megapixel
per plane for bilineal and 30 for bicubic. Our
tutorial GuruGram on this appears here.
 

December 3, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I gathered together all of our Gila Valley
Day Hike
info into a brand new web page that
I'll make part of our Tinaja Questing library.

Please email me if I have m&Issed anything
obvious. The goal is to have at least 100 trips.

December 2, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Here is the latest cut on our bilineal pixel
interpolation
code in PostScript...

     
dup cvi dup /yi exch store sub /yr
     exch store dup cvi dup /xi exch store
     sub /xr exch store
 
    data yi get dup xi get 1 xr sub mul exch
    xi 1 get xr mul add 1 yr sub mul

    data yi 1 add get dup xi get 1 xr sub mul
    exch xi 1 add get xr mul add yr mul add

Enter with a predefined data array and a pair
of x and y positioning numbres. The integral
portions select the unity square; the residues
the position inside the square.

Speeds can approach 3 microseconds.

More details here.

December 1, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I thought we might continue our Gila Valley
dayhikes listings. Perhaps with a goal of
coming up with an even one hundred...

   GILA BOX -- Hiking access is difficult,
   but the whitewater takeout at the Flying
   W
picnic ground offers superb swimming.

   DEADMAN CANYON -- Offers several
   waterfalls, access to the Round the
   Mountain trail, and an irrigation canal that
   runs along the highest point on its ridge.

   EAGLE CREEK BAT CAVE -- Early
   guano mining combined with seasonal
   bat flights. Mine permit recommended.

   OLD MARBLE QUARRY -- Historic
   artifacts in Emigrant Canyon include
   steam engines and other equipment.
   Also rapelling and huge stone blocks.

   SAN SIMON DAM -- Erosion control
   structure quickly filled with mud the
   instant it was built. Proves that one of the
   indicator species of overgrazing is cows.

   DANKWORTH PONDS -- One time
   warm spring fish farm offers hiking and
   day picnicing, shady escape.

   CHINA PEAK OBSERVATORY -- A
   largely abandoned U/A geophysical
   facility includes a remote airport runway
   and an experimental geodetic dome.

   SNOW FLAT -- Small lake near the end
   of pavement. A hidden trail leads the back
   way to Treasure Park.

   DISCOVERY PARK -- A failed museum is
   now part of EAC. Nature trails, telescope
   access, flight simulators, lectures, more.

   MARIJILDA RUIN -- Multi-family rock
   architecture prehistoric native structures 
   date from the 13th century.

   SAFFORD MORENCI TRAIL -- Old horse
   route has been developed and marked by
   BLM. Mine activity may limit partial access.

   ROCKHOUNDING -- Areas include Black
   Hills and Round Mountain for fire agate and
   chalcedony; Stanley Butte for garnet.

   ARAVAIPA GHOST TOWN -- Some
   buildings remain from an old mining district.
   Hunter's camps and warm springs nearby.

Previous lists are here and here and here.
and here and here.


Please email me if I have m&Issed anything obvious
( or not so obvious ) on these listings.
  

November 30, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Latest GuruGram #83 is an update on A Review
of Some Image Pixel Interpolation Algorithms
.

Sourcecode is separately available here.
 

November 29, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

We long ago looked at the effects of Paradigm
Shifts
. Here's a few of them that seem to be
generating negative vibes for me lately...

   EYEBALL SIPHONING - Classic websites
   are having their growth and interest limited
   partially because of new alternatives such
   as personal networking, online tv access,
   facebook, YouTube, and similar diversions .

   MIL SURPLUS OPPORTUNITIES - These
   have ceased to exist in the Southwest, where
   everything is now carted off to Northern Utah.
   And Government Liquidation now only has
   few and generally useless items locally.

   INDUSTRIAL AUCTIONS -- At least locally,
   there seem to be far fewer of these and the
   few there are seem highly competitive.

   WIERD STUFF -- We have prided ourselves
   in unusual stuff being offered on eBay. Not
   anything to replace our water soluble swim
   suits, tinfoil hat liners, or nuclear holocost
   fashion accessories seems forthcoming.

   OLD TEST EQUIPMENT -- Prices are now
    in freefall. Mostly because nobody measures
    anything anymore. But also because of size
    and weight &Issues, combined with an inability
    to record and communicate. And a glut.

   AN UPCOMING WEB CRASH -- All of a
   sudden, everyone has gone from paragraphs
   of text to HDTV video clips. There is no
   way the present web can handle this.

   eBay MARGINS AND INTEREST -- The
   eBay phenonomen seems to have clearly
   peaked. The site is much more competitive
   than before, things have to be listed longer
   at lower prices, and costs are higher.

   GLOBAL WARMING -- Am I the only one
    who is noticing the annual hundred year
    floods, the recurring historic fires, and
    extreme drought? The sky is indeed falling.

Approaches to problems include focusing and
strengthening what you genuinely believe in
.

Plus letting one door open as another closes.
 

November 28, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Just found a maddeningly infuriating bug
or "feature" in regular Acrobat 8. It turns
out that most Distiller file reads or writes are
locked out by default. As if a command line
option-F was forced.

The first consequence of this is that my
Gonzo Utilities cannot be run unless they
are placed in the Distiller folder
. Even then,
PostScript procs that read and write any
file are apparently prohibited.

This lockout may have been just another
scam to get you to buy Acrobat 8 Pro, like
their omitting the JavaScript console on the
regular version.

But there has to be an "un-comand-F" that
restores this functionality. Possibly as a
setdistillercommands option.

I have been unable to find this so far. If
you have a link to appropriate docs or a
solution, please email me.


   UPDATE: Click here for solution.
 

November 27, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

That was fast. Many thanks to the dozen
of you that simply shoved yesterday's math
problem into one of several solution packages.

The results are...

   
 a00 = w0,
    a01 = y0,
    a02 = -3w0 + 3w2 -2y0 - y2
    a03 = 2w0 - 2w2 + y0 + y2

    a10 = x0
    a11 = z0
    
a12 = -3x0 + 3x2 - 2z0 - z2
    
a13 = 2x0 - 2x2 + z0 + z2

    
a20 = -3w0 + 3w1 - 2x0 - x1
    
a21 = -3y0 + 3y1 - 2z0 - z1
    
a22 = 9w0 - 9w1 - 9w2 + 9w3 + 6x0 + 3x1 +
             
-6x2 - 3x3 + 6y0 - 6y1 + 3y2 - 3y3 +
               
4z0 + 2z1 + 2z2 + z3
    
a23 = -6w0 + 6w1 + 6w2 - 6w3 -4x0 - 2x1 +
                
4x2 + 2x3 -3y0 + 3y1 - 3y2 + 3y3 +
               
-2z0 - z1 - 2z2 - z3

    
a30 = 2w0 - 2w1 + x0 + x1
    
a31 = 2y0 - 2y1 + z0 + z1
    
a32 = -6w0 + 6w1 + 6w2 -6 w3 -3x0 - 3x1 +
                
3x2 + 3x3 -4y0 + 4y1 - 2y2 + 2y3 +
              
-2z0 - 2z1 - z2 - z3

    
a33 = 4w0 - 4w1 - 4w2 + 4w3 + 2x0 + 2x1 +
              
-2x2 - 2x3 + 2y0 - 2y1 + 2y2 - 2y3 +
                 
z0 + z1 + z2 + z3

Org. What a mess. But the results are stunningly
impressive. As you can newly find here.
 

November 26, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

A detailed and understandable derivation
of bicubic interpolation of pixel data seems
conspicuously absent on the web, so I thought
I'd try to work up a GuruGram on this topic.

A possible starting point appeared here. I've
gotten through a verification of much of their
arcane math and am to the point where I
need verification of solutions to these plain
old algebraic equations...

          w0 = f(0,0) = a00
          w1 = f(1,0) = a00 + a10 + a20 + a30
          w2 = f(0,1) = a00 + a01 + a02 + a03
          w3 = f(1,1) = a00 + a10 + a20 + a30 +
                                  a01 + a11 + a21 + a31 +
                                  a02 + a12 + a22 + a32 +
                                  a03 + a13 + a23 + a33

         x0 = fx(0,0) = a10
         x1 = fx(1,0) = a10 + 2a20 + 3a30
        x2 = fx(0,1) = a10 + a11 + a12 + a13
        x3 = fx(1,1) = 1*(a10 + a11 + a12 + a13) +
                                 2*(a20 + a21 + a22 + a23) +
                                 3*(a30 + a31 + a32 + a33)

        y0 = fy(0,0) = a01
        y1 = fy(1,0) = a01 + a11 + a21 + a31
        y2 = fy(0,1) = a01 +2Aa02 + 3a03
        y3 = fy(1,1) = 1*(a01+a11+a21+a31) +
                               2*(a02+a12+a22+a32) +
                               3*(a03+a13+a23+a33)

       
 z0 = fxy(0,0) = a11
        z1 = fxy(1,0) = a11 + 2a21 + 3a31
        z2 = fxy(0,1) = a11 + 2a12 + 3a13
        z3 = fxy(1,1) = 1*a11 + 2*a12 + 3*a13 +
                                 2*a21 + 4*a22 + 6*a23 +
                                 3*a31 + 6*a32 + 9*a33

Four solutions are available by inspections and
another eig by pairs of equations. The object is
to solve a00 through a33 as functions of w1
through z3.

Your independent checking would be much
appreciated. Even a minor error here would
cause much later trouble. Please email me.
 

November 25, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

We might complement our recent lists of
Gila Valley day hikes with this list of places to
avoid
that you definitely do NOT want to visit..

    SPENAZUMA MINE -- 1900's gold
    mining scam is private property on
    which visitors are strongly discouraged.

   ARIVAIPA CANYON -- There is an eastern
   access problem caused by a locked gate from
   a few-chips-shy-of-a-full-board landowner.

   TOP OF MT GRAHAM -- Red squirrel
   refugium is strictly enforced by Bureau
   of sports fisheries and wildlife, among other
   agencies. Trailhead access to some northern
   trails are blocked and prohibited.

   EDEN HOT SPRINGS -- Once hippy paradise
   is now a working cattle ranch. There has been
   a long history of exceptionally bad vibes.

   FREEPORT MCMORAN -- Due to copper
   mine development, many access points north
   to the Gila Mountains now have locked gates,
   guardhouses, or are otherwise restricted.

   THATCHER HOT WELL -- Has been plugged
    with concrete over a nudes-vs-prudes squabble.
    You still can visit, but there is nothing there.

   MT. GRAHAM OBSERVATORY -- While
   scheduled tours and individual invitations are
   possible, trespassers will be prosecuted to the
   fullest extent of the law by an aggressive 24/7
   onsite police force.

   TRAMWAY PIMA BASE STATION -- This
   appears to have been recently sold and seems
   to be private property under development.

    WATSON WASH HOT WELL -- Has been plugged
    by BLM over wild parties, drugs, shootings,
    fires, and the usual nudes-versus-prudes &Issues.

   RES ACCESS -- There are all sorts of recent
   horror stories over visits to the San Carlos indian
   reservation. Ranging from gang intimidation to
   shakedowns to extreme permit enforcement
   to outrageous fines. But the casino will still
   be happy to take your money.

   WINTER ON THE MOUNTAIN -- Mount Graham
   access is closed during winter to vehicles beyond
   Shannon Campground. Skiers, snowmobiles,
   and hikers are usually permitted.

November 24, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Sometimes an apparently simple task can
have horrendous hidden gotchas. I got an
email from an individual seeking a simple way
to select the strongest of eight audio channels.

The obvious answer is any of a number of
mid-range PIC microprocessors that have
eight built in 10-bit A/D converters.

But what is meant by "strongest"? As anyone
who has ridden gain on a VU meter knows,
it flat out ain't that simple.

Speech and music have wildly different
patterns of peak to average values. And
integration times from short to long can
produce wildly different results.

So the hidden gotcha here is to be able to
define "strongest". I suspect this is highly
non-trivial.
 

November 23, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Continuing with a fourth entry in our list of
easy and fun Gila Valley day hikes to
obscure and unique places. Some of which
even the natives never heard of.

   ROUND THE MOUNTAIN TINAJAS -
   At the crossing in Upper Marijilda. These
   are world class rock pools.

   FISHOOKS WILDERNESS - Remote area
   with solitude, ruins, small streams, riparian.
   Rarely visited.

   OLD US 70 - Two stretches of long abandoned
   and somewhat overgrown roadways are perfect
   for hiking and mountain biking.

   RIGGS FLAT LAKE -- Fishing, camping,
   hiking on top of Mount Graham. Closed
   in winter.

   EUROFRESH TOURS -- Huge tomato
   production facility on the other side of the
   mountain offers free commercial tours.

   PADDIE'S RIVER -- Interesting side
   canyon in the Galiuros. Approach from
   the sunnyside area.

   WILD RASPBERRIES -- Late August
   in most any old burn area on the top of
   Mount Grahm. Also commercial apples
   and prickley pears later and lower.

   PIMA BADLANDS -- Huge area to the
   west is largely roadless. Interesting
   geology full of nooks and crannies of
   one sort or another. 

   ARIVAPIA CANYON - World class
   riparian wilderness stream. Eastern
   access is currently restricted. BLM
   permits required. 

   CLUFF PONDS -- Several small lakes
   are an Arizona Game and Fish hatchery
   location. Just south of Pima.

   NORTH TAYLOR CANYON -- Hiking
   trails lead to a divide in the mountains
   separating Mt Graham proper from West
   Peak.

   COPPER CREEK CROSSOVER -- An
   ancient and vehicle impassible wagon
   road once connected fourmile with the
   upper end of the Copper Creek mining
   district. Access may be restricted. 

   CARTER SAWMILL - One of many
   earlier sawmill sites reachable by hiking
   trail beyond 4WD access.

This sort of concludes our initial list of one
year's worth of weekly trips. We may add
an ongoing "B" list of "not quite as great"
trips as we continue.

Please email me if I have m&Issed anything
obvious.

Previous lists are here and here and here.

November 22, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Our Faxitron Model 8500 Industrial X-Ray
machine
will come off eBay in four days.

It will not be listed again as we have some off
eBay offers. This is an outstanding bargain.

November 21, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I keep getting strange emails from alternate
energy enthusiasts trying to "solve" the
storage problem for excess electricity they
think they will be generated during the day.

Proposed solutions include hydrogen, liquid
sodium, lithium borohydries and similar
outrageously inefficient, downright deadly, and
ludicrously UN-cost effective wet dreams.

In reality, the storage problem simply does
not exist. Because nothing can remotely
approach synchronous grid storage for
efficiency, simplicity, cost effectiveness,
and implementation.


And this will continue for many decades
until such time as alternate energy excess
approaches peak demand. Naturally, trying
to work offgrid is being part of the problem,
not part of the solution
.

Even at their outrageous current pricing,
a synchronous inverter is far cheaper and
far simpler and far safer and far less complex
than any other approach to energy storage
.

And the price of these can reasonably be
expected to eventually drop into the ten dollar
range. Given enough demand and interest.

Purists might insist "but you are not storing
anything". To which an economist would
reply "You are instead swapping fungible
commodities." If you put nickels in a
piggy bank and later remove some, it does
not matter in the least whether you get the
same ones back.

Even if synchronous inversion was not
obviously the best, number two would be
pumped storage
. Cheap, effective, low tech,
and thoroughly proven.

Much more in our Energy Fundamentals
tutorial.
 

November 20, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

We picked up a bunch of very unusual and high
quality switches at a recent power utility auction
and have listed them on eBay.

All are high current and rated to 600 volts, which
makes their new prices outrageous.

The first group of these are some ten gang ABB
knife switches. These are weird enough and funky
enough to be excellent for stempunk and similar
outrageous projects.

The second group are genuine ElectroSwitch
modules. Some fully manual and some with
solenoid driven electrical reset. The latter are
extremely useful for safety lockout relays.
These go up to 20 pole, double throw.
 

November 19, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Continuing our list of easy and obscure
Gila Valley day hikes to unique places. Some
 of which even the natives never heard of.

We'll split this up into pieces of thirteen trips
or so for a full year's worth of travel.

      OAK GROVE CANYON -- Seldom
      visited and little known feeder canyon
      to Arivaipa offers a wet stream, cliffs,
      riparian. Access presently limited.

      OLD GOAT RANCH -- Spectacular
      San Simon erosional features caused by
      obscene overgrazing that continues to this
      day.

      CUNNINGHAM ROADS -- old logging
      trails atop Mt. Graham are closed to
      vehicles but offer superb and easy hiking
      and mountain biking.

      SANTA TERESA ROCK CLIMBING --
      World class climbing granite is little
      known and seldom visited.

      MARIJILDA PICNIC AREA -- Small
      pools are perfect for kiddies. Lots of
      big trees, but fewer because of recent
      flood damage.

      MORENCI MINE TOUR -- Commercial
      tours of one of the largest copper mines
      in the world. Reservations required.

      YELLOWSTONE DAM -- small catchment
       in scenic area has an unusual flying buttress
      architecture.

     OLD MORENCI BRIDGE -- Restored
      older bridge on the backcountry byway
      is also a shady picnic area and a Gila
      River whitewater put in. 

     WEST END MINES -- Historic district
     east of Duncan offers all sorts of exploration
     possibilities. Avoid tunnels and shafts!

     PIMA GAP -- Unusual geological feature
     forms a short box canyon in the Upper
     Sonoran life zone. Javelinas common here.

     ROPER LAKE STATE PARK -- Has
     developed hot springs, lakes with islands,
     fishing, camping, hiking.

    FLYING BOXCAR - Rare static display
    of a military C119E twin boom cargo and
    paratroop plane at Pima International Airport,
    aka the Flying J. Call in advance.

    LEBANON PONDS - Collection of fairly large
    reservoirs that hold seasonal water and provide
    storage for a historic irrigation district.


Previous lists are here
and here

November 18, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Pixel interpolation is crucial when modifying
any bitmap for resizing, perspective correction,
image rectification, or any of a number of
related processes.

In which you take four adjacent pixel samples
and attempt to get the "best" result for
a point lying between them. Some hints over
how to do this appear here and here.

 Key questions are how fast the poorer methods
 are and exactly how the better methods work...

   NEAREST NEIGHBOR -- This is the fastest
   method in which the closest pixel is substituted.
   It tends to create ugly artifacts but has quick and
   simple algorithms. Can be improved by oversampling.

   BILINEAL INTERPOLATION -- This "averages"
   the four corner pixels in proportion to their relative
   distances. The approximate formula is...
     
           f(x,y) = f(0,0)(1-x)(1-y) + f(1,0)(x)(1-y) +
                        f(0,1)(1-x)(y)    + f(1,1)(x)(y)

   BILINEAL VIA TABLE LOOKUP  -- This can
   considerably speed up bilineal interpolation but
   limits you to n x n quantized values. The execution
   speed is a fairly mild function of n, while the table
   lengths increase as the square of n.

   3x3 COMPROMISE -- This is the "worst" bilineal
   table lookup but is considerably better than nearest
   neighbor. It is surprisingly fast in that a single
   lookup is needed 4/9ths of the time, a two point
   average 4/9ths of the time, and a full four point
   average only 1/9th of the time. At 2X oversampling,
   you get a 6x6 array that is 36 times "better" than
   nearest neighbor with only a 4x speed penalty.

   BICUBIC INTERPOLATION -- This creates a
   smooth surface between the corner points that
   takes into account both the values and the slopes
   at each corner. The results are superb but the
   computation is enormously complex.

   Sixteen equations are involved...

      surface p(x,y) =
               a00 * x^0 * y^0)  +  a01 * x^0 * y^1) +
               a02 * x^0 * y^2) + a03 * x^0 * y^3) +
               a10 * x^1 * y^0) + a11 * x^1 * y^1) +
               a12 * x^1 * y^2) + a13 * x^1 * y^3) +
               a20 * x^2 * y^0) + a21 * x^2 * y^1) +
               a22 * x^2 * y^2) + a03 * x^2 * y^3) +
               a30 * x^3 * y^0) + a31 * x^3 * y^1) +
               a32 * x^3 * y^2) + a33 * x^3 * y^3)

   The coefficients are found by simultaneously solving
    sixteen equations based on the 4 data point values,
    their x slopes, their y slopes, and their xy slopes.

    The calculations are obviously complex and may
    need done millions of times on a larger bitmap.
    Typically three times over for red, blue, and green.
    Simplification by table lookup would seem to not
    give much improvement over bilineal. At a still
    horrendous speed penalty.

It is important to note that none of the new methods
can add any informational content beyond that available
from the initial pixels themselves.
Smooth and band
limited data is thus assumed.

I'll try to work up a GuruGram that explores all of this
in much more detail.
 

November 17, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Continuing our list of easy and obscure
Gila Valley day hikes to unique places. Some
 of which even the natives never heard of.

We'll split this up into pieces of thirteen trips
or so for a full year's worth of travel.

      GILLARD HOT SPRING -- One of the
      hottest anywhere at 180 degrees. Mixes
      rapidly with the cooler Gila River.

     CARTER BOX -- Secret hidden pools
     here once held native fish. Not sure
     what our drought conditions have done
     recently

    MORENCI CRYSTAL CAVE - Several
    hundred feet of passage, typically with a
    lake blocking some easier access.

   MOUNT GRAHAM SAWMILL - Largest
   and most important sawmill on the mountain.
   Both the tramway and the flume started here.
 
   HIDDEN GILA ACCESS -- Obscure ag   
   roads lead to an amazingly pristine river
   stretch halfway between Pima and Thatcher.

   ASH CREEK - Nice picnic area with a
   running stream. Flume and mountain access
   trails further up.

   MOUNT GRAHAM OBSERVATORY --
   Incredible technology. Guided tours only
   from Discovery Park. Seasonal.

   APACHE BOX -- A favorite hiking area
   of BLM employees just over the NM
   border. Nearby Zen monastery tours.

   STOCKTON & GILLEPSIE WASHES --
   Nice picnic areas. Through hikes downstream
   are nice and easy but only seldom done.

   HOTWELL DUNES - BLM hot tubs,
   sand dunes, off road vehicle paradise.
   Enforced dress code.

  BEAR BASIN -- The most obscure trail
  access on the North side of the Grahams.
  May have water and tinajas higher up.
   
   SAN CARLOS FALLS -- Spectacular
   but difficult canyoneering on the res.
   Rec permit required and enforced.

   ALLEN RESEVOIR -- Failed flood
   control dam is seldom visited. Makes
   for interesting close in exploration.
 

November 16, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

While the RGB ( red-green-blue ) color space
is the most popular, there are times and places
where HSB ( hue-saturation-brightness ) can be
more useful. Such as in our latest GuruGram.

These two color spaces precisely 1:1 map into
each other, following these details. The math
involved is simple but rather obtuse.

It turns out there are six HSB cases, each with
a dominant color, a secondary mix color, and a
background color. The latter sets the saturation.

The six cases are red with blue mix, red with green
mix, green with red mix, green with blue mix,
blue with green mix, and blue with red mix.

But a much simpler way is to let PostScript do
all the work for you... 

  r g b setrgbcolor currenthsbcolor ---> h s b
  h s b sethsbcolor currentrgbcolor ---> r g b

November 15, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Latest GuruGram #82 is an update on Some
Possible False Color and Rainbow Improvements
.

Sourcecode is separately available here.

November 14, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

What could there possibly be not to like on
the latest eBook Reader product intro?

Outside of, maybe, its outrageous price and
Draconian DRM, its downright ugly look,
its rinky-dink fake keyboard, not allowing
any printing, file export or excerpting,
lack of any backlighting, overpriced sole
source media, its lousy ergometrics, unwanted
random page flips, utter lack of PDF ability,
and its failure to provide a universal interface?

There is not the slightest doubt that books
will soon be shot out of the saddle
. Whether
this will happen through the evolution of
ordinary PC's laptops, video viewers,
and expanding iPod devices or by way of
specific eBook reader appliances remains
to be seen.

At any rate, I feel the winner will have
the following properties...

    TOTALLY UNLOCKED ACCESS --
    Using standard .PDF files, word docs, and
    other popular existing formats.

   SLEEKER THAN AN IPOD -- Must
   have touchy-feely properties better than
   the books it is replacing.

  DRM OPTIONAL AND MULTIPLE --
  Accepts any book-like material from any
  source. Free SDK's available to any
  of many info suppliers.

  INDEPENDENT OF MEDIA -- Hardware
  supplier should have no interest whatsoever
  in selling books or book equivalents.

   EASY EXPORT -- Owner should be able
   to transfer any and all content to any and
   all other personally owned devices of any
   sort. At any time for any reason.

   NO-NONSENSE ERGOMETRICS
   If a keyboard is needed, it should be a
   real one. Operation otherwise must be
   intuitive and convenient. Pags must not
   flip if picked up wrong.

   SHARPLY HIGHER AUTHOR PAYMENTS--
   Perhaps a minimum of 80 percent. There is
   no longer any need whatsoever for intermediaries
   of any sort between author and reader.

   SANE MEDIA PRICING - The cost of
   writing a book has dropped by a hundred
   and the cost of delivering a copy by a
   thousand. Twenty five cents is a reasonable
   selling price for a copy of a million seller.
   Even if it only earns the author $200,000.00.

   VAST LIBRARIES OF FREE MATERIAL --
   From out-of-copyright back lists, older classics,
   and from anyone with an axe to grind.

   FULL COLOR, BACKLIGHTING, VIDEO --
   Device should draw no particular distinction
   between watching a video, reading a book,
   playing a game, or attending a class.

   RUGGED AND WATERPROOF -- Must
   stand the rigors of outdoor use, full sunlight
   exposure, and reasonable abuse.

   CHEAP ENOUGH TO GIVE AWAY --
   As advertising promotion, third world learning,
   or to aide and abet a student backpack revolt.

November 13, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Thought I'd start a list of easy and obscure
Gila Valley day hikes to unique places. Some
 of which even the natives never heard of.

We'll split this up into pieces of thirteen trips
or so for a full year's worth of travel.

      FREY MESA FALLS -- Waterfalls,
      riparian, rock scrambling, fishing.

      RED KNOLLS -- Many dozens of
      pseudokarst pits. These are very
      easy to rig -- just push the bolts in
      with your thumb.

     McENARY TUNNEL - One of
     many local investment scams. This
     one to tap Mount Graham for water. 

     SAFFORD GRIDS -- Spectacular pre
     historic ag structures. Possibly to
     farm agaves for mescal.

     OLD CCC CAMP -- Amazingly close
     in "ghost town" is virtually unknown.
     Buildings, trails, oil change ramps.

     TENSION STATION -- Much of the
     Mount Graham Tramway is very hard
     to access. But the first tension station
     is an easy hike with minimal 4WD.

    CACHE CAVE -- Small rock shelter that
     once held a spectacular collection of
     ancient basketry and other artifacts.

    BONITA CREEK - Nearby wet stream
     has indian ruins, birds, hiking, and history

    RINCON SPRING - Mile long dayhike
    gives sweeping valley views. Very seldom
    traveled.

    DEAD CAMEL PLACE - Footprints of
    paleo animals and other palentology.

   FORT GRANT ICE CAVES -- No longer
    have any ice in them because of global
    warming. In spherically eroded granite.

   GOAT HILL SITE -- Indian ruin on the
    summit of a small knoll. Dating from the
     1300's.

   ZEOLITE MINES -- Thin layers of minerals
   with an incredible variety of catalytic, filtering,
   and similar uses.

November 12, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I've often needed "rainbows" of false color
for such things as chromaticity diagrams or
electromagnetic field plots. And have often
been disappointed with the final results.

An obvious starting point is to use a HSB
color space with maximum saturation and
brightness.
Ranging from red through blue.

Purples and magentas are problematic because
they are not "real" colors. They are instead
white minus green and take a "shortcut" across
the bottom of the chromaticity diagram.

Easily explored, of course, with PostScript.
Here a hue of 0 is red, 0.333 is green, 0.667
is blue, back to red at 1.0. Saturation varies
from a white zero to a 1.0 fullest color. And
brightness goes from a black zero to a 1.0
maximum.

HSB is 1:1 mappable to RGB and vice versa.

Perhaps reversing things so that low or cool
equals blue
and red or hot equals red. Thus a
value of 0 would become a hue of 0.67 blue
and a max value of 1 would be a red 0.00.

At any rate, the first cut usually produces a
rainbow all right. Except the red is somewhat
dark and the blue is waay too dark.
And there
seems to be "too much" green and "not enough"
yellow or orange.

A first step in correction is to seek out a constant
perceived brightness.
The eye sees green a lot
better than red and very much better than blue.
The usual formula for an "equivalent gray" and
constant brightness is...

     lum = 0.31 red + 0.11 blue + 0.59 green

If we take a saturated green as the best
brightness we can get, then unsaturating red
by 0.59 - 0.31 = 0.28 ( to 1 - 0.28 = 0.72)
and unsaturating blue by 0.59 - 0.11 = 0.48
(to 1 - 0.48 = 0.52) should give us a better
looking rainbow. With intermediate colors
properly apportioned.

The "too much green" problem is stickier
to deal with. Hue is pretty much linear
over a 400 to 800 nanometer range, while
the eye's perception is logarithmic. In
particular, two obvious colors of orange
and yellow are perceived between red and
green. While only a blended aqua is perceived
between green and blue.

My present thinking is to use a table lookup
hue booster to stretch the oranges and yellows
and squash the green. While preliminary
results are interesting, I am not yet sure of
the underlying math.

Otter be a log in there somewhere.

There also may be a problem with aqua
being "too bright". I am not sure if this is
a monitor problem or how to deal with it just yet.

I'll try to work up a Gurugram that has full
examples and useful results.

November 11, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

One of our associates discovered that subminiature
banana plug jumpers will fit very nicely into a submin
phone jack.
For 2.5 mm is 0.1 inch, more or less.

The retention is a tad on the light side but is
quite useful. And you do need an insulated panel
because the jack body becomes the live connection.

We have lots of both of these remaining on eBay.
 

November 10, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

We made a loop trip through some of the more
remote New Mexico rural areas. Mostly to visit
this superb Bed & Breakfast and this well done
herb farm.

Some observations...

   THE WEB IS A GREAT EQUALIZER -- One
   that opens all sorts of income and employment
   opportunities that actually favor remote rural
   locations with low labor, low stress, and low fixed
   expenses.

   SO IS HIGH TECH -- Those in the know can
   easily create their own video production studios,
   art services, eBay sales offices, or music recording
   studios in a spare bedroom or two for astonishing
   low costs.

   WIDEBAND IS SURPRISINGLY AVAILABLE -
   In a small rural community, most everybody lives
   within a mile of the phone company. Making DSL
   the norm. And satellite Internet is now accessible
   most anywhere.

  THEY BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS THEM -
  There is very strong anti-government activism in
  precisely those rural locations where the ratio of
  government benefits to income is highest in the
  nation. Brought about by water, ranch, farm, grazing,
  mining, and energy subsidies. Plus government jobs
  being a fraction far higher than in urban ares.

 GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL -- Small gardeners
 and farmers in rural New Mexico are having to change
 their views on which crops no longer grow well.
 Not to mention the now annual hundred year floods
 and the newly recurring historic fires. And the
 dieoffs of live oaks and other extremely drought
 resistant species

PERCEPTION DIFFERS FROM REALITY -
The "typical" New Mexico rural home is often
viewed as a squeaky clean beige fake adobe with
real vigas and a studio tower high on a windswept
bajada of stunning vistas. The reality is often an
older and rather shabby singlewide trailer.

DEVELOPMENT TRASHES ALL -- The few
good spaces remaining in the rural American
West are either changing dramatically or outright
disappearing entirely. Never to return
 

November 9, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Here is how the pricing and lotting of our
electronic components offered on eBay gets
done:

We start with an opening price of just under
ten dollars and adjust the lot quantity to end
up at a price of one-sixth of current distributor
list pricing.

Prices get further adjusted depending on their
popularity or rarity and to how many times they
are listed. Prices get lowered on some items that
we have enormous quantities of. Especially our
white banana jacks and miniature snap switches.

The quantity in a lot is also adjusted to give you
the best possible shipping rates. As in under
thirteen ounces to package at a one pound rate.

Oddball quantities sometimes result if we have
a strange quantity remaining that can be split into
one or a very few lots.

There is an ebay listing penalty above $50 total,
so we typically list five lots at a time. More often
than not, we have more inventory available.
These additional items are immediately shippable,
on or off eBay.
 

November 8, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I'm saddened that the sci.energy.hydrogen
newsgroup has turned into a sewer of unhousebroken,
clueless, and irrelevant off-topic trolls. On the other
hand, the total lack of interest in the hydrogen economy
drives home the fact that this is a clueless political scam
that flat out ain't gonna happen.


Arguments against the hydrogen economy include...

    1. Terrestrial hydrogen is ONLY an energy
       
carrier or transfer media and NOT a fuel.

   
2. Terrestrial hydrogen creation is inefficient
       
as considerably more energy of usually
       
much higher quality has to be input than
      
is eventually returnable.

   
3. No large terrestrial source of hydrogen gas
       
is known. Water, of course, is a hydrogen
      
sink and, by fundamental chemical energitics,
      
is the worst possible feedstock.

   
4. The PROPERLY CONTAINED energy density of
       
hydrogen by weight is a lot less than gasoline.
       
And drops dramatically as the tank is emptied.
       
The energy density of hydrogen gas by volume
       
is a ludicrous joke.

   
5. Virtually all bulk hydrogen is produced by methane
       
reformation. And thus is EXTREMELY hydrocarbon
       
dependent.

   
6. Hydrogen has the widest explosive range known,
       
the least spark energy required for ignition, and
       
has no known colorants or odorants. Its flame is
       
often invisible or nearly so.

   
7. There is more hydrogen in a gallon of gasoline
       
than there is in a gallon of liquid hydrogen.

   
8. No effective vehicle compatible means of hydrogen
       
storage is known that is remotely as cheap, safe,
       
dense, and convenient as carbon bonded hydrides.

   
9. No infrastructure exists for gaseous hydrogen
       
distribution. Pipelines in particular raise major
       
density and embrittlement &Issues.

   
10. Electrolysis from high value sources such as
       
grid, wind, or pv is totally useless as a hydrogen
       
source because of the staggering loss of exergy.
       
There ALWAYS will be more intelligent things
       
to do with the electricity.

   
11. Improper burning of hydrogen produces highly
        
polluting nitrous oxides.

   12. Terrestrial hydrogen is basically a
POLLUTION
         AMPLIFIER
that INCREASES the pollution of
         
its underlying sources. It is utterly ludicrous to
        
claim that hydrogen is in any manner, way,
        
shape, or form "nonpolluting".

   
13. Hydrogen rots most metals through embrittlement.

   
14. "Carbon Neutral" solutions would appear better
         
than "Carbon Free" because (A) A significant
         
measure of the energy of most fuels is in its carbon
         
fraction, (B) Carbon appears to be essential for
         
convenient and safe room temperature liquids,
 
        and (C) Reformation is not required or else
        
is simpler, cheaper, and wastes less energy.

   
15. An optimal hydrogen storage solution exists by
         
carbon bonding as in heptane or iso-octane. Both
         
of these room temperature liquids ain't broke.

More on these topics in our "Its a Gas" hydrogen library
page. A tutorial on energy fundamentals appears here.
 

November 7, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

An interesting web page on the sub pixel rendering
needed for displays to exceed print quality appears
here
. The latest algorithms completely eliminate
any color fringing. Through a fairly elaborate filtering.

Some of our earlier stuff on subpixel techniques appears
here and here.

November 6, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Our newest computer with the latest version
of Distiller seems to be six times faster than
what we had been using. Which may make very
complicated manipulations of larger bitmaps
a lot more reasonable.

I thought I would try to update and improve our
existing bitmap manipulation code. Perhaps by
splitting the incoming BMP file into individual
red, blue, and green PostScript string arrays.

True two dimensional manipulation of the arrays
could get done to create all sorts of fancy effects.
The arrays could then be recombined into a
composite final bitmap.

Some goals in all this might be (1) a rotator that
has better than one degree accuracy, (2) a
perspective distortion corrector that does not
in itself introduce artifacts, (3) a hue modifier,
and (4) a perspective "label paster".

Plus a few others that will depend on available
speed for really fancy stuff. Like taking speckle
artifacts out of a scanned picture. Or image
rectification and improved downscaling. Or further
exploring nonlinear graphic transforms..

More on all this whenever.

November 5, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Retested and updated the offsite links on our
home page.


As always, these are the links that I personally
use the most and form my "best of web".
 

November 4, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

The key secret to our Delta Friendly Magic Sinewaves.
lies in locking pairs of pulse edges together so
that they track
. Done in such a way that they always
and exactly cancel all triad harmonics.

Such harmonic cancellation is a must if only three
half bridge drivers are to be used on unmodified
three phase loads.

The above tutorial derives how and where the
tracking is needed from switching fundamentals.

My favorite trig identity of cos(a+b) = cos(a)cos(b)
- sin(a)sin(b)
gives further supporting proof that
the edge tracking works.

Ferinstance, say p1s = p4s - 60. The sum of
needed cos(p1s) + cos(p4s) will be cos(p4s-60)
+ cos(p4s)
Using our trig identity, the third
harmonic becomes cos(3*p4s)cos(180) +
sin(3*p4s)*sin(180) + cos(3*p4s) = 0
.

Which happens because the sin of 180 is zero
and the cos of 180 is minus one, which cancels
out the first and third terms
.

Much more on our Magic Sinewave library
page. Our latest ultra fast calculators appear here.

November 3, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Expanded and updated our Arizona Auction
Resources
. Your own custom auction finder can
be created for you per these details.

Additional auction help is found here
 

November 2, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

In a crowning achievement after several false
starts, Marcia Swampfelder finally was awarded
the worst paper of the week on Wesrch.

There is joy in Mudville tonight.

November 1, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I'm finding some curious vector math emerging
on our Delta Friendly Magic Sinewaves.

To guarantee operation, various pulse edges
have to be locked to one another. A pair of
locked pulse edges can have a vector equivalent.

That vector equivalent seems to preserve all
non-triad harmonics. Albeit with possible sign
changes.

For instance, if p1s = p4s - 60 a paired calculation
of cos(p1s) + cos(p4s) becomes cos(p4s-60) +
cos(p4s)
. Which has a single equivalent vector of
1.732*cos(p4s-30). With identical fundamental,
5th, 7th, 11th, 13th, 17th... harmonics.

The single equivalent vectors greatly simplify our
Ultra Fast Magic Sinewave Calculators. A further
analysis of these vector equivalents appears in the
sourcecode for the calculator. Found through the usual
View Source button on your browser.

An exploratory check file appears here.

Some useful tools here: cos(a+b) = cos(a)cos(b) -
sin(a)sin(b)
and its negative. And cos(a) = cos(-a),
so cos(60-a) = cos(a-60).

Not sure where this is going, exactly. Meanwhile,
I have yet to find any example of a four pulse
delta friendly solution. And that they probably may
not exist.

Additional info in our Magic Sinewave library.
 

October 31, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I can't seem to be able to get our Google
Custom Search
to also report our eBay
offerings. I suspect eBay went out of their
way with robot exclusions to prevent this
sort of thing from happening.

What I would like to see is a custom search
that finds everything on my website and
everything we are offering on eBay. And
nothing from anybody else.

Please email me if you have any suggestions. 
 

October 30, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Both the National Auctioneers Association and
the Arizona Auctioneer's Association have very
much improved their websites. To the point where
actually is now some overlap (!) in their auction
listings.

What we feel is the most complete source of
Arizona auction listings anywhere on the web
appears here. Your own custom regional auction
finder can be created for you per these details.
 

October 29, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Few people realize how major a role private
corporations have played in dramatically altering
western water flows and rights. Three Phelps Dodge
examples can be of historic and technical interest.

We have already seen how the Black River pumping
plant
removes water from the Salt River Basin and
moves it into the Gila Valley. Done by pumping
up onto a mesa and then free flowing some fifty
or so miles. Serving the Morenci mine and townsite.

A shorter PD project in Riverside NM pumps water
up several hundred feet into Bill Evans Lake where
the water is then run by aqueduct several dozen miles
to the Tyrone mine.

Even more intriguing is Blue Ridge Reservoir that
diverts water from the Colorado River basin by
pumping it up and over a ridge and dropping it into
the East Verde River where, many miles later,
it ends up in Horseshoe and Bartlett dams, serving
the Phoenix area. This time, eighty miles or so in
a very elaborate water credits exchange.
 

October 28, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Expanded and updated our Magic Sinewave library.

October 27, 2007                                                                                           deeplink                                                                                          

We recently looked at a number of Factors Driving
Technological Innovation
in our series of GuruGrams.

This seems to be turning into an ongoing topic. We
already added Form No Longer Follows Function
here. I guess I'd also like to newly add Complexity
Beyond Comprehension
.

Back in the days of an Apple IIe, a reasonably
swift individual could understand exactly what
all 128,000 bytes of memory were up to
at all
times. These days, nobody but nobody has
the faintest clue what even a tiny fraction of
memory in, say, a Pentium with XP is up to.
And that is before the malware and trojans
take over.

Similarly, a reasonably swift individual could
build up all aspects of a new product by
creating their own printed circuit board and
attaching obvious and easily understood
components to it
using common tools and
ordinary skills.

Not so any more. Sneeze and all your parts
vanish without a trace.

The points being that much of what was
exactly and precisely known in past
development now has to be taken on faith
.

And that no single individual is likely to
completely understand any new product
development.
Teams and groupwork
are now apparently a must. 
 

October 26, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Expanded and updated our GuruGram library.

October 25, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Oops. Just discovered that several crucial links
on our new Ultra Fast Magic Sinewave Calculator
were broken.

The main Magic Sinewave page is found here, and
the Executive Summary tutorial here.

October 24, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Latest GuruGram #81 is an update on Two Way
Linking of HTML and Acrobat PDF Files
.

Sourcecode is separately available here.

October 23, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Our revised website search engine is based on
the new beta version of Google Custom Search.

This is surprisingly simple to set up and easily
finds both HTML and Acrobat PDF text strings.
It seems to grab just about everything on our
website, all pages deep.

Once set up, you go to your Google account home
page and simply cut and paste a short JavaScript
module where you want on whichever pages you
want.

You can also extend your custom search to any
number of web pages. I am still exploring whether
eBay pages can be included in a custom search.

A wildcard of "/*" may be used to search to
arbitrary depth on any given website.

If you search on an obvious term, Google ads
may be appended to your search results. You
can also use their AdSense service to get
paid for links made from your searches.

I have avoided using AdSense to date because
of the exceptional quality of our existing
banner advertisers. Which I definitely want to
preserve.
 

October 22, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

One of the unintended consequences of the new
CBS and NBC online on-demand delivery of many
of their network programs is that it drives home
how mesmerizingly awful their current offerings are.

I can't believe they are actually doing this on purpose.

Out of some 34 programs, I found two of them
barely watchable. One of which apparently has a
death wish, because they are using plot devices
obviously stolen from I Love Lucy
 

October 21, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I am changing all of our What's New archives back
to single year files. This greatly simplifies our
new deeplinking process and still gives acceptable
load times for all but the slowest links.

October 20, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Just put the last of our Insulinks up on eBay.

We are rapidly running out of our more popular
electronic component items. I'm not sure when
or where we will be able to find comparable
bargains again.

October 19, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

If you post to newsgroups, it is only a matter
of time before a few-chips-shy-of-a-full-board
and unhousebroken troll causes you grief.

Some suggestions on dealing with problem
posts and posters...

   WAIT BEFORE RESPONDING -- Do
   not give an instant reply. Think it over
   preferably for a day or two.

   RESPOND TO THE LURKERS -- Do
   not directly confront the epsilon minus.
   Answer patiently, objectively, and with
   additional supporting links.

   RESPOND ONLY ONCE -- Do not drag
   out anything that gives the epsilon minus
   a forum.

  GIVE THEM THE LAST WORD -- Which,
   of course, they will have anyway.

   LET OTHERS BAIL YOU OUT -- If your
   position is credible, others will be likely to
   soon come to your rescue.

   HIJACK THE TOPIC -- Make subtle
   to obvious changes in the topic direction and
   tone that makes the epsilon minus look
   like an epsilon minus.

   SELECTIVELY EDIT -- When responding
   to a previous thread, eliminate or weaken
   any portions that do not strengthen yours.

   START A NEW TOPIC -- Stating your key
   points and solidifying what you want to say.
   Only in a different direction with a somewhat
   different point of view.

   THREE DAY HALF LIFE -- That's about as
   long as a typical topic will stay on topic if you
   do not stir it.

   RETHINK YOUR PRIORITIES -- Too much
   of this happening may mean you are spending
   far too much time on Usenet.

And if else fails...

   INVOKE ADOLPH HITLER -- This is
   guaranteed to end the discussion. Hitler,
   of course, was the greatest highway
   engineer of the twentieth century.

October 18, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I replaced our old and klunky and broken website
search with a new Google Custom Search Engine.

You should find it at the top of all our web pages.
It does seem to search everything all the way back,
both on .ASP and .PDF pages.

Please test it and report any problems. We may
improve it and add to it as time goes on.

October 17, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Many thanks to Burr Brown for sending me an
eval board for their
new INA209 chip. Once again,
this device simultaneously measures dc voltage,
current, and power.
Over an 0-26 volt range with your
max current set by your choice of a low value series
resistor.

The eval system consists of two snap-together circuit
boards. One is a generic USB interface intended to
interface many different current and future products.
The other is a 1NA209 specific board.

You have to provide your own wall wart for the USB
side and your own power supply for your current
measuring system.

The chip appears very useful for measuring dc power
both into and out of a battery or other power supply.
But note that both sides of the current sensing resistor
are strictly limited to a 0 to +26 vdc range.

The sensing resistor must be on the high side so that
both voltage and current can be input. Negative or ac
signals going below ground are not permitted.

Note further that the fastest update rate is somewhere
around 1000 samples per second
. This might restrict
some uses with pulsed current or PWM systems.

More on this whenever I get a chance.

October 16, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

While there seem to be more auctions than
normal lately, there sure seems to be a dearth
of my type of high tech distress liquidations.

But opportunities seem to abound in these
areas if you can add personal value to them...

   MACHINE SHOPS-- Those that have failed
   to go CNC are no longer competitive, and
   those that have may be facing payment &Issues
   with their costly new equipment.

   FITNESS CENTERS -- Interest in these has
   clearly peaked, so bargains in equipment
   and fixtures and accessories abound.

   PRINT SHOPS - You can now do just about
   everything a print shop did on your own far
   better, far faster, and ridiculously cheaper.

   CANDLE STORES -- The web has severely
   cut into brick and mortar stores of all sorts,
   especially Mom and Pop operations. Candles
   are but one example of newly unviable ventures.

   WOODWORKING -- I'm not sure why there is
   a peak in these auctions. Offshore suppliers
   and labor costs do have to be factors, though.

   CO-OP FOOD SERVICES -- Wal Mart and
   similar chains have pretty much eliminated
   any cost advantages to many co-op ventures.
   Even worse is the skyrocketing costs of
   maintaining delivery routes.

   OFFICE SUPPLIES -- You cannot give classic
   steel desks away. and most business ventures
   have sharply cut back on paper filing and similar
   accessories.

As usual, the best buys will be in related inventory,
"contents of room" and "contents of cabinet"
unsorted, murky, or poisoned lots
that are a minor
and nonobvious part of a larger liquidation.

More on our Auction Help page. Your own custom
distress liquidation finder can be created for you
per these details.

October 15, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

A reminder that we have a 1994 Pathfinder
for sale at $3900. Which is well under Blue book
for a vehicle of this age and condition.

October 14, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Managed to get more or less near the trailhead
to the secret San Carlos River waterfalls.

A good trip description appears here. Do not even
think of attempting this unless you are well attuned
to Arizona backcountry travel. GPS is highly
recommended, or a Brunton and flagging at the least.
Cellphones are probably useless.

Mile markers are obvious. About 0.3 miles past marker
11, look for a gate and rough track north that seems to
go to a corral. You shortly should see dirt South Summit
tank and take a newer and unmarked track counterclockwise
to the right around the tank.

This track tees with the topo track after a mile or so
where you hang to the right. The metal Summit Tank
should shortly be visible at, of all places, the top of the
hill. The dirt Summit Tank should show up a quarter mile
later. The jetski concession still seems to be available.


It is nearly two miles to the recommended trailhead
from the tank. Much of the terrain is eminently
drivable, being flat and sparse, well packed, and
apparently not overly environmentally sensitive. But
you may have to squint quite a bit to meet the
"established roadway" rule.

The double hill to your left makes a good backsight
to monitor your progress. Apparently the easiest
trailhead appears in the slight dip in the 4180 foot
contour here. The canyon is pretty much invisible,
even without the limited sight distance of the
Chainfruit Cholla forest.

There are apparently three areas of interest, none
of which we yet got remotely near. There is a fairly
easy accessible 20 foot waterfall and long pool.
There is a 70 foot wet rappel half a mile downstream
that apparently has a usable "mere mortals" bypass.
This likely is at the canyon "corner" where the river
shifts from westerly to southerly.

Further down canyon by another half mile might also
be very interesting. But may or may not have
impassible tinajas. Canyoneering at its best.

Permits are $10, and our permit WAS in fact challenged.
Mostly because of hunters further down the road.

More on this whenever. Let me know what you find
on your visit. 

October 13, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

This website gives credibility to the theory that
some web pages may be becoming excessively
specialized.

October 12, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

If there is one thing I cannot stand, it is intolerance.

October 11, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Many thanks to the folks at Parallax for comping
me a Propeller Demo Board.

The Propeller is a group of next generation $12
parallel computing chips. Each has eight separate
32 bit microprocessors that share common I/O
in a unique round-and-round architecture.

This chip may be one way of solving the crucial
Magic Sinewave task of a 12 bit or better
precision time delay with minimum overhead
and simple coding.

Another obvious possibility is separating the
input amplitude control from the actual
sinewave generation. This should enormously
simplify timing. Besides allowing much fancier
I/O and interaction with synchronous inverters
and similar systems.

I'll try to do some eval on this soon. 

A Magic Sinewave summary appears here and
our latest ultraspeed calculators here.

October 10, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

A crucially useful test of the desirability of any
workplace is whether or not too fine a distinction is
drawn between the casual dress days and the
clothing optional ones.

October 9, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

The latest discovery of the free energy proponents
involves rectification of Johnson Noise. There
apparently is a credible second law violation on
the quantum nano level. There is, of course,
no way in hell that this can ever lead to an
even remotely exploitable power source.

The whole concept centers on Maxwell's Demon,
a useful summary text of which appears here,
along with its earlier volume.

Their "not even wrong" thinking seems to me to be
based on a patent with centuries of prior art and a poorly
done Spice model. Both of which are nearly certain to
prove totally useless in the real world.

Several obvious problems is that it is a long, long
way from nanowatt seconds to kilowatt hours.


Low source impedance is a must for any economic
energy source. Voltage by itself will not hack it.
The product of voltage and current is what counts.

Further, Amortization and full cost true accounting
overwhelm the costs of most energy concepts, even
with a "free" feedstock.

Any low temperature scheme flies in the face of
Carnot. And higher temperature concentrations
leads to fourth power efficiency losses, limits to
sensor performance, tracking, and infrastructure
cost &Issues.

It is also quite easy to confuse absolute temperatures
with operation over a temperature differential.

Without exception, in every previous Maxwell's
Demon example, entropy shifts elsewhere in the
system have fully guaranteed compliance with the
second law on the macro level.

And finally, if the concept were extendable beyond
the nano level, some organism would already have
figured this one out. My prediction is that some
real world rectification thresholds absolutely
guarantee no large scale second law violation will
ever result from this approach
.

Much more in BASHPSEU.PDF and ENERGFUN.PDF.
More on patent absurdities here.

October 8, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

A useful collection of electronic logos ( both
integrated circuits and otherwise ) appears here.

Tens of thousands of logos also appear here,
but I have yet to find a way to search them by
style rather than by company name.

The current mystery is a connector logo that
has a "CA" on top and a "W" on the bottom
in an overall hexagonal shape.

October 7, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Much of our early Magic Sinewave work was
centered on the PIC microprocessor. I am beginning
to wonder whether other newly emerging alternates
might be more appropriate.

The crucial core to magic sinewaves is a jitter free
delay of 12 or more bits of resolution with extremely
low overhead.


Since the PIC is only an eight bit device, it has to use
a two step process where most of the delay was
calculated and a residue done by table lookup. This
led to "pinch points" in the code and complex coding.

One approach would be to find an economical uP
with enormously huge flash memory available. Each
delay of each pulse of each amplitude could then be
brute force coded. Something like half a meg of
flash might do the job nicely, and the coding would
be very simple and straightforward.

A second approach would be to find an economical uP
whose data bus is at least twelve bits wide. Or whose
timers allow very low overhead that is jitter free.

A third approach might involve PLD's or DSP's.

Getting both very short and very long delays with the
same code seems enormously tricky.

Your email suggestions are welcome.

October 6, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

One of the medical curiosities of rectocranial
inversion
is that this affliction can simultaneously
be both chronic and acute.

October 5, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Noticed that both CBS and NBC now are
offering live internet rebroadcasts of many of
their prime time programs.

This does take a faster computer and a high
speed internet connection for smooth viewing.

But, my oh my, the bandwidth gobbled up by
such services
. An internet overload and collapse
seems to be just around the corner. Especially
when routine HDTV video on demand starts to
be offered as a website norm.

Does anybody know of a high quality wireless
digital rebroadcaster that connects to your computer
and reaches a HDTV set in a distant room?
This should be an obvious product, but I can't seem
to find one just yet.

October 4, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Got our industrial X-ray machine up on
eBay. Turns out it is a Faxitron Model 8050
Serial 1229.
It should be an ideal "parts kit"
to upgrade to a modern instant viewing machine.

This beast is outrageously heavy despite its
small benchtop size. We will assist you in
loading onto your pickup truck or SUV, or
can provide a very limited delivery service as
noted in the offer.

October 3, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Updated and expanded our Arizona Auction
Resources
listing.

Arizona auctions seem to be on their fall upswing,
but a dearth of industrial distress auctions seems
to remain. It has been a long dry spell for us.

Your own custom auction finder can be created
for you per these details.

October 2, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

We picked up some hard to find classic
mercury switches
recently and now have
them up on eBay.

These are glass encased "NE-2" size and
shape. They can be used as tilt switches or
silent switches in singles, or by threes in any
"must be vertical" sensor.

Sensitivity is a few degrees.

They also are a reasonably safe way to
demonstrate some properties of mercury to
grade school or middle school students.

These remain fully legal, but they must not
be broken, must be disposed of properly,
and are not recommended for new production
designs. They remain quite useful for experimental
or one-off apps where alternatives are difficult.

October 1, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Human cannonball on his circus exit interview:

"Sorry to see you go. It is hard to find a man of
your calibre."

September 30, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Apparently Adobe Systems has moved their
Acrobat JavaScript Consoles over so they are
only available on the more costly professional
versions of Acrobat 7 or 8.

This makes development of our Acrobat PDF
Animation
and similar tasks considerably more
expensive. Or now needs unbearably difficult
hand coding.

September 29, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

A reminder that we have inventory in depth
on most of our eBay auction items. Similar
items are often found in the eBay store or else
may be ordered direct.

Much as we like p&Issing contests between two
competitive bidders, you can usually avoid
paying more than our opening price
just by
searching deep into our eBay site or emailing us.

It is, of course, NEVER a good idea to enter
an early eBay bid on ANY auction item. Secrets
of successful eBay bid strategies appear here.

And similar tutorials here.

September 28, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

We have long had a demo of Two Way Linking
of Acrobat and .PDF files
. There were some
ancient history problems with its operation that
may have obscurely resurfaced with Acrobat 7.

And supposedly have been cured with Acrobat 8.

Please email me if you are having any problems
with this demo. Particularly in not going to the
correct page of a previously viewed file.

September 27, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

What are the factors that make for a good inventory
source for an eBay auction? I'd include these...

    FORCED SALE -- A third party such as a
    bank or a landlord is forcing the auction to happen.
    Their primary interest is to free up the property
    for a new leasing or to recoup their cash losses.

    MUST VACATE -- The property must be
    cleared. It is not possible for the original value
    holders or new buyers to continue in place.
    Everything literally must go.

   DEEP DISTRESS -- Should be a desperate
   attempt at salvage, rather than an inventory
   reduction or relocation of a viable business.

   NO ORIGINAL INTEREST-- The original
   owners who know the value of what is being
   offered should be long gone or in jail or flat
   out broke or otherwise scattered.

   NO BLACKMAIL OR BULK SALES -- Items
   will be sold piecemeal and the auction is real,
   not just a "put up or shut up" time wasting
   smoke-and-mirrors scam.

  NOT A NATIONAL AUCTIONEER --High
  profile national auctions tend to draw more
  people, have higher prices, and be much more
  strongly promoted.

   SECOND TIER LOCAL AUCTIONEER -
   may be sloppy or incompetent, out of their
   area of expertise, or improperly promoted.

   FOCUS NOT OBVIOUS -- Your items of
   interest should be only the tiniest and the
   most unobvious part of the whole. Thus
   failing to attract regular competitors.

   POSIONED LOTS -- Wildly mixed lots
   should have worthless junk dominating with
   real gems deeply buried. "Put it with the
   next lot" is your friend.

  MURKY INVENTORY -- Lots of items
  high up on dark and inaccessible shelving.
  Items very difficult to properly inspect and
  evaluate.

   "IN-PLACE" AUCTION -- happens at the
   original site. Items hauled off to an auction
   "yard" or "barn" inevitably get evaluated
   and highraded. And the moving labor and the
   value added has to be paid for somehow.

  "CONTENTS OF ROOM" DEALS -- Or even
  the lesser "contents of cabinet". Where lots of
  bulk unsorted inventory hides the true value of
  buried gems.

   NOT AN ESTATE SALE -- These tend to have
   overall bad vibes because of squabbling siblings
   and the fact that somebody died or had to go to
   a special home. Also, items are unlikely to be
   new.

   NEW ORIGINAL INVENTORY -- Rather than
   items to be repaired, not taken care of properly,
   warranty returns, broken, or otherwise trashed.

  NOT REGULARLY SCHEDULED -- As in a
  college inventory auction or routine business
  excess trash cleanup. These tend to attract
  competitors and rarely have stunning bargains.

   EXCESSIVE LENGTH -- Bargains tend to abound
   twelve hours into a ninety minute auction.

  120 DEGREES IN THE SHADE -- Not counting
  the scorpions, the four inch hail, and the total
  lack of working restrooms.

Much more on our Auction Help library page.
Your own custom auction finder can be built for
you per these details.

September 26, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

One of the utterly bogus claims of the "hydrogen
economy" proponents is that hydrogen has an
energy density by weight that is three times better
than gasoline.

In reality in the real world (A) it does not, and (B)
even if it did, it does not matter in the least.

For energy density by volume utterly and totally
dominates in terrestrial automotive apps.

Suppose that someone shows up drunk at a refinery
somewhere and flips some valves that inadvertently
triples the energy density by weight of gasoline. What
would likely happen?

Possibly the total weight of a vehicle could be reduced
by as much as 26 pounds. Golly Gee mister science!

But much worse is that you have to consider the
CONTAINED weight.
The weight of a gasoline tank
adds very little to the weight of the liquid it holds.
While it is enormously unlikely that you could hold
an equivalent thirteen pounds of hydrogen in a twenty
six pound container.
The size you would need for
gasoline parity.

In reality, gaseous hydrogen containment systems
vastly exceed the weight of the hydrogen they hold.

And, of course, get worse as the hydrogen is used up.

Thus in the real world, the contained energy density
of hydrogen by weight is not even remotely as good
as gasoline.


Additional arguments against the hydrogen economy
appear here.

September 25, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Our electronics inventory sales on eBay are about
two thirds complete, and we are running out of
inventory
on many of the earlier items.

New items to be listed tend to be more obscure
items in smaller quantities. On some of these,
we will be using representative photos or no
photos at all.

As usual, you can email us with questions on
any item. And we certainly will combine lots
or even "start a tab" to get you the best possible
shipping costs
. Again, email for details.
 

September 24, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I find the classic statistical Monty Hall Problem
utterly fascinating. Particularly the way nearly
everybody is loudly and emphatically dead wrong
about the odds
.

A game show host offers a contestant a choice of
three doors, one of which contains a car and two
of which contain goats. The contestant guesses a
certain door. At this point, you might rightly
conclude that their odds on the car are 1 in 3.

Now, the host KNOWINGLY opens a door that
is GUARANTEED to have a goat behind it and
ALWAYS asks the contestant if they want to
change their guess.

The surprising answer is that changing their
guess DOUBLES their odds of winning the car!

Most people will wrongly argue that a new guess
involves two doors and that the odds are 1 in 2 of
either door winning on the new guess. But that is
NOT at all what happened
.

Because -- the original guess had 1 in 3 odds. The
number of doors has not changed. The number
of goats has not changed. And whatever was
behind the guessed door has not changed. Thus
the odds on the original guess REMAIN as one
in three!

Since the odds of there being a car in the open
door with a goat in it is now 0 in 3, the unguessed
closed door has to have odds of 2 in 3 of holding
the car.
Or TWICE as good a bet as before.

September 23, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I'm wondering if the entire concept of an "ebook
reader" is not a totally bogus straw man
.

Any old laptop now lets you attractively view book type
material much better than a dead trees book does.
And simple ebook specific nav features are easily added.

We can shortly expect cellphones and music players
to also offer acceptable ebook reading capability.

A stand alone ebook reader is probably doomed to
failure because it simply does not do all that much
that is not better done elsewhere.

When incompatibilities and DRM and existing
publisher stupidity &Issues are layered on top,
the eBook reader concept seems fatally flawed.

Further analysis here.

September 22, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Received an email asking about two way
linking of Acrobat PDF and HTML files
.

We have long had a demo here, but I guess it
is time to upgrade this into a new GuruGram.

Bottom line: On the HTML side, an Anchor
gets you to any part of any page. An anchor
might be manually or programmatically set as in

             <a name=""glotz">

And the anchor can be called by...

        http://www.mysite/myhtmlfile.htm#glotz

The "#" here means "find the anchor in the current
document"
. You might want to position your HTML 
anchor a little earlier than you think you need it to
make sure there is decent spacing above your entry.

On the Acrobat .PDF side, an anchor is called a
named destination. Full details on its use appear in
the PDFMark Reference Manual.

A named destination might be created by

        [ /Dest /zorch /DEST pdfmark

This can be entered into an appropriate place
in the sourcecode of the document to be
distilled either manually or programmatically.

Or later entered directly into the .PDF file
by an appropriate editor or service proc.

Your named destination is similarly called...

 
   http://www.mysite/mypdffile.pdf#zorch

This simple example will take you to the top of
the desired Acrobat .PDF page. There is an
optional View parameter that lets you set an
exact page position or magnification. There is
also an optional Page parameter that lets you
use a page number rather than a name.

New destinations can be added to an existing
.PDF file with Acrobat 7 or higher by selecting
View and then Navigation Tabs and then
Destinations. This will automatically position
and zoom to your preselected page image.

Note that you must have a "real" copy of
Acrobat 7 or higher and not just an Acrobat reader.

More on post editing .PDF files here.

September 21, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Noticed a new INA209 chip from Burr-Brown that
simultaneously measures dc voltage, current, and
power.
Over an 0-26 volt range with your max
current set by your choice of a low value series resistor.

With current sensitivities to 40 millivolts full scale and
measurement speeds useful to 1000 per second. With
pricing in the $3.50 range. And one percent accuracy.

Besides its obvious automotive, battery, test, and server
uses, this chip should be able to once and for all
eliminate all of the happy horseshit involving bogus
electrolysis efficiency measurements.

September 20, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Way on back in my slide rule and college days,
the efficiency of math calculations was super important.

But today we now have Computing Power Insanely
Beyond Awesome
Which means that the "old ways"
need no longer apply. Specifically, it has recently become
utterly trivial to throw another half a million calculations
at a problem.
Or even half a billion.

Thus brute force attacks may often prove most useful.

Our New Method of Solving Electromagnetic Fields gives
a typical example. Where hundreds of thousands of
intense calculations utterly trash the efficiency but
provide you with highly useful results in times ranging
from tens of seconds to a few minutes.

And, of course, our Magic Sinewaves started out with
exhaustive searches of all possible harmonic bit
sequences.

September 19, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Just picked up an older Faxitron industrial
X-ray machine Have not had a chance to even
pick it up yet, let alone test it. But if the tube is
still good, it should be quite valuable. Apparently
new solid state imaging sensors are now available for
this film based system, although quite expensive.

Please email me if you want to get in ahead of the
hoarders on this one. The lead in the two foot cubic
box makes this 400 pound beast expensive to ship,
so local pickup would be advised.

September 18, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

One of the virtually unknown secret places in
Arizona is the tiny mountain resort community of
Greer hidden at the headwaters of the Little Colorado
river. At the end of route 373, the "road to nowhere".

We just got back from a visit, and found the low end
burgers-and-cobbler-with-an-attitude at the Rendezvous
Diner
to certainly be worth a stop.

And that the pet welcome $200 total per night, six person
cabins with private jacuzzi spa hot tubs at the Snowy
Mountain Inn
to be an outstanding bargain, combined with
superb food and service.

One tip: It is tempting to make a loop over the Coronado
Trail ( US 191 or old 666 ) when visiting the White
Mountains. While this "must see" route is certainly
spectacular and includes world class mines, it is also
very long, quite tedious, has no services, no cellphones,
and is carsick urppy.

Locals instead often will go the Luna-Glenwood-Mule
Creek
route through New Mexico. While somewhat
longer, this road is much faster and requires far fewer
barf bags. And gives you access to the Catwalk, the
Gila Wilderness, Frisco Box, the Mongollon ghost town,
and the underappreciated Big Lue mountains.

September 17, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Not sure if a recent Infopak request was a
yank-my-chain hoax or not. What they wanted
was a pv system to run a 2 horsepower 3 phase
lathe
.

Such a system would be an insanely huge gasoline
destroying net energy sink.
An infinitely greener
and more environment friendly solution, of course,
would be a generator from Home Depot and a VFD
drive from McMaster Carr or W.W. Grainger.

Forgetting that nobody uses lathes anymore since
CNC mills are ridiculously more productive, pv
systems pretty much demand a matched and continuous
load. Any high power and low duty cycle load is dead
wrong.


There is a strong correlation between dimes and kilowatt
hours in any pv system. Very often, the two can be
treated as interchangeable and fungible commodities.

You can use either dollars or energy for your analysis,
or some mix of the two.

A dime per kilowatt hour is often ballpark for power
utility buyback contracts
. Driving a 2 HP lathe for
a highly unlikely two hours a day would cost forty cents
or so. Per this analysis, the maximum amortized system
cost over ten years at ten percent would have to be
significantly less than $908 .

My rough estimate of the conventional pv system
they would need is around $35,000.00 fully burdened
true cost for the system, and possibly triple that for the
NRE expenses. Any tax credits or subsidies, of course,
should be charged at their true societal costs of at least
three times face value.


Thus, the cost penalty and environmental destruction
caused by going pv solar would be something like
ONE HUNDRED TIMES the best solution!

Much more in our Energy Fundamentals tutorial.
 

September 16, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

When it comes to Italian food, you cannot be both
pro volone and anti pasto.

September 15, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Here's a good starting sequence for learning
the insider secrets of dealing with eBay...

      eBay selling secrets
      eBay buying secrets

      enhancing your eBay skills I
      enhancing your eBay skills II
      enhancing your eBay skills III
      enhancing your eBay skills IV
      enhancing your eBay skills V
      enhancing your eBay skills VI

Additional auction info is found here, tested
and proven sources of supply here, and your
own local supply source directory here.

September 14, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

A Wall Street Journal article from today and its
later Slashdot Analysis strongly supports what I
have long suspected: That most peer reviewed
scientific papers are just plain wrong.


Clearly, conventional peer review publication is
doomed
. It makes no sense whatsoever for a
researcher to pay many thousands of dollars to
get published in a negligible circulation journal
so expensive that their own library cannot afford
a copy. Combined with utterly outrageous copy
charges.

Of the many emerging alternatives, I am most
impressed by Wesrch and where it seems to be
going.

September 13, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

For most individuals and small scale startups,
any involvement with the US Patent system is
virtually certain to result in a net loss of time,
energy, money, and sanity
.

My classic Case Against Patents appears here,
a tutorial on When to Patent here, and additional
resources here.

September 12, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Very often, it is not a good idea to sell an eBay
item on its first listing. Chances often are good that
you will get a higher return if you have to relist a
time or two
.

While the relists are a gamble, you might be betting
$3 in relist fees against a $100 higher total return.
You can repeat this bet many times and still end up
way ahead.

Two techniques we can call ratchet up and ratchet
down
may be of use here.

Say you have a clean refurbed higher ticket
industrial item for sale. You might open at something
like one third of factory list price, knowing full
well that a sale at this price is very unlikely.

You then ratchet down by lowering the price between
five or fifteen percent on each relisting. Chances are
the item will eventually sell for a higher price than
you might have first guessed.

In an opposite situation, say you have a few rare
collectibles and somebody instantly grabs one with
Buy it Now. Clearly your price was too low. In
this case, you ratchet up by changing your new
opening price to your old Buy it Now price
.

A little of this goes a long way, because each
sale reduces current eBay demand. Plus, of course,
the higher the price, the less the interest. But so
long as the Buy-it-Nows take place in less than two
days or so, you can ratchet up as long as it takes.

Tutorials and sources on our Auction Help pages.


September 11, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

We've reached the point where our current What's
New
blog needs split a third time to make for sane
download lengths.

The dilemma is that multiple splits make our deep
linking extremely tricky
. Plus, GoLive slows down
dramatically and annoyingly on long edits.

I'm not sure what the solution to this is. Possibly
some sort of redirect on the deeplinks may help.
But it is not clear how to steer a deep link between
a current and an archive file. Especially if JavaScript
is to be avoided since some users deactivate it.

The simplest is to assume everybody now has
high speed internet
and go back to plain old
single long files. And for me to move over to
Dreamweaver.

Your email comments are welcome.

September 10, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Refurb Log:

Many electronic components come in several
different sizes. One classic example are phone
plugs
, which originally were large and 1/4 inch
in diameter. For some apps, these were superseeded
by miniature 3.5 mm phone plugs ( commonly used
for headphones ), and subminiature 3.5 mm phone
plugs
( commonly used for mics or power controls ).

A dilemma exists with banana plugs, which do not
seem to have common names associated with each
of the four or more sizes available.

"Regular" banana plugs were used singly or often
in pairs for older audio test equipment. Their use
has waned, although there seems to be lots of
newer apps that involve audio speaker connections.

A regular banana plug fits a 0.150 diameter jack
or a comparable standard 5-way binding post.

"Miniature" banana plugs were somewhat smaller
and do not seem to have much current use. They
once were quite popular for patchboards and
programming jumpers.

A miniature banana plug fits a special 0.125 diameter
jack

"Subminiature" banana plugs are considerably smaller
and were popularized by the Triplett 310 VOM.

A subminiature banana plug fits a special 0.10 inch
diameter
jack.

Finally, there are somewhat rare "oversize" banana
plugs used for high current apps and special uses.

An oversize banana plug fits a very special 0.25
inch diameter
jack or a comparable conductor hole .

We still have a few of these items up on eBay.

Please be sure the size is the one you expect.

September 9, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Proofing websites and other tech material is
enormously difficult. Especially when you are
maintaining a remote individual site like I am.

We have just added a third person to our
proofing process and are starting to go back
through everything to give you the best possible
info and accuracy.

The GuruGrams and our eBay Listings will receive
initial priority on this

Meanwhile, please report any problems to me.

September 8, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I can't believe the number of people who are
enthusiastically getting sucked into the recent
"burn saltwater" utter fiasco. There are enough
alarm bells going off for a Pink Floyd Time intro.

It is enormously unlikely that any untrained and
inexperienced researcher is going to make a
profound and earth shattering breakthrough in
the fundamentals of hydrogen generation. More
likely, they will make the same grossly incompetent
stupid mistakes that everyone else does.

Water, of course, is the worst possible feedstock
for hydrogen generation. Because of fundamental
chemical energetics and the fact that water is an
ash.

Virtually all hydrogen is commercially produced
through the reformation of methane. And rf energy
simply is not strong enough to produce hydrogen by
direct disassociation.


What likely is happening is that the rf induces
currents in conductors associated with the sea
water whose nonlinear dc terms in some manner
do a plain old but woefully inefficient electrolysis.

Back to the bogosities The claim of "70 percent
efficiency" is clearly ludicrous because it is very
difficult to even generate rf from the mains at that
efficiency.
Some of the reports include "not even
wrong" statements like "seven times Faraday"
which to me is totally absurd.

Even if you had a theoretically perfect electrolysis,
all you would be doing is converting very high
quality electrical kilowatt hours of energy into fewer
very low quality kilowatt hours of hydrogen gas.
The
loss of exergy is so staggering that this route is
clearly totally useless.

Even apparently neutral words like "stainless steel"
can cause difficulty. Seems that none of the lightweight
researchers even bothered to open an intro electrochem
book. And never heard of the hydrogen overvoltage of
iron
. Which cuts any potential efficiency in half.

Serious electrolysis demands the use of costly and
hard-to-maintain platinized platinum electrodes.


The fact that the "breakthrough" was done by a highly
questionable alternate cancer researcher in itself
raises eyebrows. And it certainly is not clear to me
how the hydrogen produced would be separated
from water vapor, oxygen, and other contaminants.

The arguments against the "ain't gonna happen"
hydrogen economy appear here. More on electrolysis
here. And more on energy fundamentals here.

And more on bashing pseudoscience here.

September 7, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

There are a surprising number of wet streams in
deep canyon bottoms in Arizona that to this day
remain largely inaccessible and prohibit crossing
of any type. Some over dozens of miles or more.

While the Grand Canyon and its many feeder
streams ( Havasu, Kanab, Paria, Antelope, etc... )
are our obvious biggies, here's my selection of
some of the neater and more obscure stuff...

   WEST CLEAR CREEK - Virtually uncrossable
   between the Bullpen and Maxwell trail. Hidden
   pools and drops are extremely dangerous.

   EAST CLEAR CREEK - Blocks all east-west
   travel for something like forty miles! Maybe
   much more if you straightened out all the loops.
   Even its treacherous horse crossings are few
   and far between.

   SAN CARLOS RIVER
- The tribe keeps
   the good part well hidden. Fine pools, falls, and
   most impressive canyoneering.

   CHERRY CREEK - Forms the barrier
    between the Sierra Anchas and the Sombrero
    Butte country. Feeder canyons such as Devils
    Chasm, Pueblo Canyon, and Cold Springs Canyon
    are world class.

   UPPER MARIJILDA - Very fine tinajas at the
    Round-the-Mountain trail crossing.

   PAIGE CREEK - Great swimming, lots of big
   trees, nice climate. Also check out nearby
   Espirito Canyon.

   SALOME CREEK - Superbly remote stream
   west of the Sierra Ancha wilderness. Tramways
   were once used for fish stocking because of
   extreme inaccessibility.

   AQUA FRIA CANYON - Indian ruins, ghost towns,
   an impressive historic aqueduct and lots of quicksand.

   LOWER EAGLE CREEK - Hot springs and bat caves.

   ARAVAIPAI - Riparian in a class by itself. Currently
   has access problems because of a few-chips-shy-of-
   a-full-board landowner.

   FOSSIL CREEK - Newly restored to its historic
   flow rates after the closing of two hydro plants.

   TONTO CREEK - Visit the Hellsgate. The
   eastern Young approach has a much shorter
   hiking trail but much longer 4WD access.

   REDFIELD CANYON - Secret inner heart of the
   Galiuros. Anglo and prehistoric ruins, utter solitude.

   RUCKER BOX - In the most remote part of
   the Chirachuas. Difficult access.

   FREY MESA FALLS - Hidden canyon between
   the falls and lake. And right in my front yard.

   BONITA CREEK - Spectacular portion of the
   Gila Box. And right in my side yard.

   UPPER LOWER MIDDLE BOX - Not quite
   in Arizona, but close enough. Start at
   Fisherman's Point, work towards Virden.

   SANTA MARIA CANYON - I've yet to check
   this one out, but it sure looks impressive on
   the topo maps. Virtually unknown. More here.

   WET BEAVER CREEK - Lives up to its name.
   Often severely infested with nude females. Can
   be crowded on weekends.

    DUTCH BLUE CREEK - Floods have made
    access to Hanna Hot Springs and the Little
    Blue Box very difficult. Horses from Luna
    may be the best approach these days. Otherwise,
    start from Juan Miller.

    EL CAPITAN CANYON - Short but spectacular.
    Not often wet. Take one rope qualified person
    with you.
 

September 6, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Just added a pair of extremely rare KIM-1
microprocessor trainer boards to our eBay site.

These were by far the finest of all of the earlier
6502 single development board computers and
remain useful to this day.

Entire adventures, chess games, and complex
video displays were written in its 1K memory
space.

September 5, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

The sole remaining use for public transportation
is to provide prey for predators
.

Curiously, this works equally well both at the urban
gang and at the city council levels.

September 4, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

There's a new uniform employment requirement
now in effect for the entire upper Gila Valley: Successful
job applicatants must be able to exhibit a core body
temperature measurably above January ambient
.

Solar gain excepted.

September 3, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Our Guru's Lair Website usually has a strong traffic
pickup in September, owing to school interest and tech
types returning from vacation. So far, this has not really
happened. Despite lots of new features and continually
improving content.

I'm wondering if at least part of the blame cannot be
placed on eyeball siphoning.

Ignoring that there are lots of new websites and that
interest in tech topics might be waning, there's now
lots of new places on the web for people to spend their
time.


Obvious examples include MySpace, YouTube and
comparable networking sites. Plus several zillion new
blogs. Our own blog, of course, appears here.

And the real heavies such as Google are grabbing a
disproportionate amount of traffic. Spent on such things
as maps or aerial photos and intensely effective searches.

Your thoughts welcome. Please email me.

September 2, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

A recipe for the ultimate hacker food appears
here
. Please do not use intraveniously.

September 1, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

The E.F. Johnson company has a rich electronic
history, both for superb components and comm gear.
They've gone through several buyouts and apparently
the component part is now part of Emerson Network
Power
.

We have bunches of Johnson original components up
on eBay. A few of these remain distributor stock,
while many others have vanished without a trace.

I've yet to find a web source for historic Johnson
catalog data. Please email me if you find one.

One of our more enignatic parts involved the
Johnson "series 375" connectors. For which we may
have found a modern use.

This 375 was a "shrunk" UHF connector called a
"mini-UHF" connector. It had the same appearance
as the regular ones but was only 3/8 of an inch
in diameter. In addition, there were internal groves
that allowed quite compact (for then) 1/4 inch
diameter snap in operation.

Somewhat similar to a modern MCX connector but to
RG58 standard coax scale. I get the impression that
the Mini-Coax scheme never really caught on, owing
to the industry switch to smaller cables and needing
better high frequency performance.

At any rate, we have a bunch of these 375 connectors
up on eBay, and may actually have found a modern
use for them. Together, the RG58 snap in crimp
connector and the mini-UHF adaptor let you snap in
an ordinary cable into older gear that still uses the
standard older UHF connectors.

We've repackaged things so you get the five pieces
you need to go directly from RG58 to snap-in UHF.

August 31, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Latest GuruGram #80 is on Finding the Minimum
Distance between a Point and a Cubic Spline
.

Sourcecode can be found here. Additional GuruGrams
here. Custom consulting and seminars here. And
more on Cubic Splines here.

August 30, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Feeding the Fire is a Mark Eberhart book on
energy that does an exceptionally good job of
tieing everything from thermodymanics to
information theory to energy history to
geopolitics together.

August 29, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Our ancient and creaky website search feature
finally broke completely. It was a really big deal
when we first went to it, because it was one of the
first to be able to search both regular and .PDF
files at the same time.

I'm searching for a suitable modern replacement.

Meanwhile, you can use the Global Spec box and
click on tinaja only. Or search on Google, adding
"Don Lancaster" in quotes. And adding search terms.

August 28, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Lately, only around twenty percent of my
reasonable info email requests to industrial
firms are ever answered at all.

And of those, only a tiny percentage actually
respond to the question being asked or deal
with the need being addressed.

August 27, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Does anyone else find the trade journal practice
of calling you on the telephone and wasting a half
hour of your time over a subscription renewal
to
be utterly infuriating?

Especially when it is not at all clear which language
the caller is trying to speak in.

To qualify for the renewal, of course, you have to
lie. Meaning that zero useful information comes out
of such a call. Especially since most of the calls are
from utterly worthless second tier magazines that
you could not care less about in the first place.

Trade journals are clearly a dying breed. This
appears to be a death wish they have placed
upon themselves. Or more likely by the post office.

August 26, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I keep getting the bizarre emails accusing me of
not knowing the difference between a radial and
an axial capacitor
.

On looking around the web, I found several sites
that dead wrong confused these two. Even the
eBay category selection is ambiguous.

On a cylinder, the axis goes out the ends. That is
what the axle rotates about. The radius extends
outward
. In, of all things, a radial direction.

The origin of the electronic use was perhaps the
earliest resistors. These were a carbon cylinder with
holes in either end. Leads were attached and extended
radially outward. These eventually got replaced by
molded resistors in which the leads extended axially.

You can easily verify this by reading any 1929 radio
book.

Some axial capacitors have one lead going out either
end as was needed by traditional point to point wiring.
Other axial capacitors are single ended, with both leads
going out one axis and intended for upright pc mounting.

August 25, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Continuing our look at the minimum distance
from a point to a cubic spline...

For a given t value, the present distance s
will be the square root of the sum of the x and
y distances. The problem being to make the
best possible guess of an improved t.

To do this, you find the s(t) slope and set it
to zero, seeking a minimum. Starting here,
the simplified result seems to be...

    [ (deltaX)*X'(t) + (deltaY)*Y'(t)] /
      [ (X'(t))^2 + Y'(t))^2 + 
      (deltaX)*(X''(t)) + (deltaY)*(Y''(t)) ]

I have yet to check this out completely, so
stay tuned.

August 24, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

As a wasted trip to Phoenix just proved, bulk
bids
at any auction can be bad news...

   THEY MAY BE BLACKMAIL - the whole
   auction may be a musical chairs charade to
   get somebody to pay up.

   BULK BIDS USUALLY WIN - The bulk
   bidder is bidding at his avoided costs,
   while many of the lot bidders are trying
   to make a speculative profit. And not all
   lots will have strong interest.

   THEY MAY PAY WITH FUNNY MONEY -
   If a forced auction is for a $100,000 lein and
   the bulk bid is for $200,000, then half of the
   money goes right back into the bidder's pocket.

   BULK BIDERS HAVE INSIDER INFO -
   They often will know the exact value of what
   is being offered because they may have created
   that value themselves.

Some defenses...

  KNOW AHEAD OF TIME - Avoid any bulk
  bid auctions when and where possible. At the
  least, try to find out if they are present. And
  adjust your expectations.

 DO THE MATH - You can often tell early
  in the auction whether a bulk bid will win.
  If there is a $300,000 bid and 100 lots, then
  each lot must averge $300. Not likely.

  WHEN DANCING WITH ELEPHANTS -
   keep your eyes on their feet at all times.

  FAVOR SECOND TIER LOCALS - Large
  national auctioneers are more likely to
  encourage and close on bulk bids. Smaller
  regional auction houses are less likely to.

 PLAY THE ODDS - As long as you hit it
  really big in one out of twenty auctions or
  so, it does not matter if you walk away
  empty handed from a few of the others.

August 23, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

What is the minimum distance between a
cubic spline and a given point? This question
gets important real fast when curvetracing
or fitting cubic splines to fuzzy data.

The general solution is ugly, because there
can be more than one local minimum distance
with certain splines. IF you can assume that
you are "very near" a minimum distance
already, the problem is greatly simplified.


There are three obvious approaches to
finding a minimum. You can increment t
till you find a good enough solution. You
can assume a parabola near the correct
solution. Or you can use Newton's method
where you multiply the current error times
the function slope.

A comparison of the latter two methods appears
here. While this "horses mouth" key document
gives a direct Newton's method solution that
often converges good enough in a single pass.

More on this whenever.

August 22, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Just did a "real" Cat-5 Network. Literally. As
Part of last night's TFD fire drill on entanglement.

We made a 20 foot square "fishnet" out of Cat-5
cable with squares about ten inches on a side.
Each wire pair did a simple half hitch at each joint,
then each wire went on to continue its row or column.

This was combined with the usual "two firemen
follow their hose out blindfolded with full air packs"

life safety drill. The net was thrown on top of them,
complete with ambient sound effects from two
buckets full of empty soda pop cans.

Firemen were prepped a few feet earlier by
one-wire lassoing their boot or airpack.

Also found out that six foot sections of rug tubes
( usually available free from any rug company )
can be beat over firemen's heads without damaging
the tubes much. And create an unexepected
happening.

Both the props and the firemen's performance
wildly exceeded our expectations. But even
at four hours net net built time, it is usually easier
to build a new net for the next drill than try
and fix the old one.

August 21, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Long ago, I did a Bezier Cubic Spline through
Fuzzy Data
based on this original Siggraph paper.

My routines definitely work, but they lack any
use of Basis Functions and the HTML presentation
is kinda primitive. I'm wondering if they should
get replaced by an extension of our latest
Bezier Data through Four Points tutorial and
utility.

In which you would exactly fit four of the "n"
points ( initially n = five ). And then use as much
least squares fitting as you need for optimization.

There are eight possible variables to optimize
least squre errors on any cubic spline. You could...

      just use four exact points as is
      optimize all for best fuzzy data fit
      preseve end points, optimize the rest
      preseve end points and initial slope
      preerve ends, initial slope and tension
      preseve end points and final slope
      preerve ends, final slope and tension
      preserve ends, slopes, and initial tension
      preserve ends, slopes, and final tension
          ... etc ...
 

Each would produce a slightly different spline
that would meet curvetracing needs in a somewhat
different way.

More as this unfolds. The story to date appears
in our GuruGram and Cubic Spline libraries.

August 20, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Revised and updated our Arizona Auction resources
library subpage.

Your own custom regional auction finder can be
created for you per these details.

August 19, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Three recent web discoveries: OEM'S Trade takes
any part number and checks its price and availability
for you among dozens of major distributors.

SciVee TV lets you publish your own papers
and videos. Per this Slashdot analysis. The
fatal flaw here being that if you are a good
researcher, you almost certainly will have a
terrible video presence. Per the nerd effect.

And Public Library of Science will publish your
paper for a fee.

As we've seen a number of times before, the
peer reviewed scholarly journal publication
route is fatally flawed.
It makes no sense
whatsoever for a researcher to pay a journal
many thousands of dollars to publish their
paper in a year or two in a journal that is
so expensive that their own libary cannot
afford a copy.

And then compound the ludicrosity by
charging outrageous fees to read what
should be ( if federally or university
funded ) totally free and unrestricted
access.

Of the many dozens of web based alternates
to peer review journals being explored, I
remain most impressed with WeSearch.

August 18, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I am in the process of adding many dozens of
files to our PostScript library. Keep checking
back over the next few days to monitor progress.

Our library pages with the latest and best info
are usually What's New, GuruGram, Auction
Help
, Magic Sinewave, Its a Gas, Cubic Spline,
and PostScript. Plus our Home Page.

The pages with the best archival reprint info are
Ask the Guru ( which includes access to my earliest
construction projects ), Blatant Opportunist, Hardware
Hacker
, and Tech Musings,

Some of the others may be slower updating and
still need revision from their earlier forms.

Updating and improving the other pages are pretty
much a back burner project. That await your
support as a Synergetics partner or associate.

August 17, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

My favorite two web sites for mapping are
usually Google Maps and Topozone. Both
reached by clicking through on our home page.

But I just discovered Acme Mapper. Which
offers USGS aerial photos in black and white.

The Acme resolution is much better than the worst
of low resolution Google, but not nearly as good
as Google's best. Acme seems more useful when
tracing roads or trails than the others. But the
best of Google shows detail that Acme m&Isses.

The Acme images seem to be the same as many
of the Terraserver ones. But are far more easy
to navigate and generally simpler to use.

None of the sites are quite ideal yet. I'd like to
see one tenth meter resolution in five blendable
stereo bands ( three color plus uv plus ir ) with
blendable road, topo contour, and feature overlays.

All in infinite zoom and searchible on every place
name and address, of course.

August 16, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

The two key secrets to repair, maintenence,
and refurb:

    If it is supposed to move and does not,
    use WD-40.

   If it moves and is not supposed to, then
   use Duck Tape.

August 15, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

We recently looked at a number of Factors Driving
Technological Innovation
in our series of GuruGrams.

A case can be made that Form no Longer Follows
Function
possibly should be added.

If you were designing a telephone a few years back,
you started with a big and klutzy bell and an equally
klutzy hybrid transformer. To which you added a
fairly complex mechanical dial assembly. This defined
a box too heavy to comfortably lift that had to go onto
a table or shelf. A handset had to be separate and its
distance from receiver to transmitter set by human
heads.

These days, all of those limitations are gone and a telephone
can be any shape or size and include an astonishingly
wide array of additional features as well.

If you were designing a 35mm camera a few years back,
you had to have two vertical cylindrical film cassetttes
separated by flat film plane. In front of which you placed
the bottom of a Coke Bottle or similar fancier chunks of
glass.

These days, all of those limitations are gone and a camera
can be any shape or size. Even the lens can now be
replaced by a small drop of oil. As before, anstonishing
wide array of additional features can easily be added.

If you were designing a light bulb a few decades back,
you started with an intense point source and placed a
controlled environment bulb around it. Virtually all of today's
incandescent light fixtures are based on accomodating this
specific form follows function shape
.

LED lighting sources now offer efficiencies that are
ricidulously higher than incandescents. But the basic shape
of an intense point source is a big no-no.
Because of heat
management problems. LED lighting systems are best based
on many dispersed emitters rather than a single concentrated
point source.

And thus should shortly and totally revolutionize what a "lamp"
is or what it should look like.

August 14, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I may have found a few hints about what
if anything of interest can be found in the
Santa Maria River. Per yesterday's entry.

At least one helicopter company thinks there
is stuff there worth a $600 visit. Much of this
river is wide sand on a flood plain. However,
there is a highly unexpected 3.5 mile gorge
between highways 93 and 96. With depths of
a thousand feet or more.

Here's a topo. Google maps only shows a
little bit of riparian green on their low res
aerial photos
.

EXCEPT that the total drop through the
gorge is something like thirty feet per
mile!
Which would be whitewater elsewhere.

EXCEPT for persistant "secret" rumors.
That well predate our recent drought.

Here's a higher resolution B/W photo. In
which you can convince yourself there are
streams, pools, and possible drops, squeezes,
and small falls. The number of canyoneering
stars is yet to be determined.

Your field checking and evaluation is
welcome. Take at least one rope qualified
individual with you.

August 13, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I've long been fascinated by deep and wet
canyons in the desert southwest
. Especially
those that take a little ( but not too much )
ropework to explore.

An interesting directory and guide appears
here. Conspicuously absent are my favorites
of West Clear Creek, El Capitan Canyon, and,
of course, Frye Mesa in my front yard.

One lead I have been unable to pursue: There
is supposedly a spectacular world class wet
canyon somewhere along the headwaters of
the Santa Maria river, a Bill Williams tributary.

Do any of you know about this legendary site?

August 12, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Latest GuruGram #79 is my long overdue Gonzo
PostScript Utilities tutorial and directory
.

Sourcecode can be found here. Additional GuruGrams
here. Custom consulting and seminars here. And
more on PostScript here.

August 11, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Thanks to Google Scans, historic and geologic
info on Arizona's "other" coal mine is now
readily available here online. Starts page 240.

Additional photos of the Deer Creek Coal Fields
appear here. As well as on the previous and next
page.

The site is six miles or so northeast of Dudleyville
and the coal apparently has little to no commercial
value, even locally. Obviously, if it had, it would
have been stolen off the indians a hundred years
or more ago.

This is possibly the lower mine location, while
this may be the upper one.

Things get tricky in a hurry as there are two
Deer Creeks
in the immediate area and that the
res boundaries dramatically change
with map age.

The sites are definitely ON the reservation. Word
has it that permits for this area are seldom if ever
&Issued.

Locals tell of a legendary and persistent old route
through these tablelands. At least one newer map
shows a possible thru track down Deer Creek.

August 10, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

The assumption is often wrongly made that any
technology keeps forever improving.


Instead, what really happens is that a given
technology hits the wall. And (A) creating a demand
for better new approaches that are initially costly
and stammering, and (B) vested interests forcing
the old technology long beyond anything sane.

It is interesting to look at CRT displays and conventional
silicon pv panels
in this light. The former clearly shows
us where the latter inevitably has to go.

There is a fundamental limit to what angle you can
bend an electron beam and still retain focus and
avoid distortion. This is combined with costly high
strength glass enclosures and inherently high
energy consumption. Plus the need for rugged and
fancy additional packaging.

The fatal flaw that doomed the CRT was that you
could not hang it on the wall
. And it has now been
clearly shot out of the saddle by LED backlit LCD
flat panel displays.

Conventional silicon pv panels also hit the wall
several decades back. The fatal flaw here is that
they were not then and likely never will ever
become fully burdened system level net energy
sources
. Proof of this is that not one power utility
anyplace ever is using silicon pv for subsidy free and
greeniePR free net energy avoided cost peaking.

The silicon material is intractable and hard to process,
especially in the required flexible thin sheets many
feet in width and many miles in length. Efficiency is
also sorely limited
and thick sections are required
for conversion. Further, a "use somebody elses'
cheap scrap" heavy subsidy is now clearly gone.

There is not the slightest doubt that conventional
silicon pv will also soon be shot out of the saddle.
Most likely by CIGS, by Quantum Dots and/or
by Tetrapods .

Meanwhile, every gasoline destroying net energy
sink conventional silicon pv panel installed on an
inappropriate rooftop only further sets back the
day of eventual net energy breakeven. Ludicrously so.

Much more in our Energy Fundamentals tutorial.

August 9, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I am utterly amazed at how much publishing has
changed how quickly...

     INSTANT PUBLISHING - One or two mouse
     clicks and you are the online equivalent of
     being in print. No more long editorial delays.

    24/7 WORLD WIDE ACCESS - Instantly and
    forever. Without any subscriptions, misplaced
    copies, being out on loan, or eaten by the dog.

    TYPESET FIRST, EDIT LAST - A complete
    turnaround from the way things were.

    MIXED TEXT AND GRAPHICS - All done
    in pretty much the same way and on down the
    same pipes. Arranged exactly the way you want.

    FULL COLOR - At zero additional cost or
    complexity. No point whatsoever in staying
    in black and white for most content.

    INSTANT LINKING - six ways from sunday
    to reach related content, anyplace, anytime.

   ULTRA COMPETITIVE - Instead of your
   competiting against one or two known authors,
   
your viewers are attracted to hundreds of
   thousands or millions of competiting websites.
   Some of which are better or more relevant.


  LISTEN OR MAGNIFY - Your viewers can
  expand your pictures for additional detail or
  even listen to your text read audibly.

 
CERTAIN ACCEPTANCE - No more reject
  letters from clueless wannabe editors. Most
  especially those that hold your subm&Ission for
  fifteen months and then reject it for "not being
  timely".

  FREEDOM FROM SIZE HASSLES - Content
  can now be exactly the size it has to be to cover
  what it has to offer. No more precise fitting. And
  no more forcing page counts to please a printer.

 FREEDOM FROM INTRUSIONS - No more
  competitive ads or unwanted content anywhere
  near yours. Especially stuff beyond your control.
  And no more "continued on page 57".

  FREEDOM FROM DEADLINES - No more
  pressure to deliver exactly so many words in
  exactly such a form by a "drop dead" date.

  NO MORE INDEXING! - Google and friends can
  now find every word you ever wrote in most any
  context.

  STAYS FOREVER - Your backlist can go on
  forever. And even will get stronger with more
  and more referrals and links over time.

  SINGLE COLUMNS - Multiple columns per page
  are long gone because of the inconvenience of on
  screen horizontal repositioning. Columns can also
  now be optimally wide for best comprehension.

  YOU 
MAKE YOUR OWN MISTAKES - Instead
  of having to pay others to make them for you.

  LOW TYPOGRAPHIC QUALITY - Nobody has
  even heard of drop caps, hanging punctuation, or
  kerning or progressive three stage fill microjustifies
  any more. Nor do they seem to care.

 INDIRECT PAYBACK - Author payments have
  long ago dropped to unconscionably low rates
  The rule today is alternate and usually indirect
  income routes
. Exact details on some of this has
  yet to be worked out.

August 8, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Be very careful any time you are revising a
website. Or you may cause grief to hundreds
or even thousands of other sites linking you.

You should NEVER delete an old page on any
website rebuild! ALWAYS downgrade the page
into a redirect link instead.

Something like this should work...

      <html>
     
<HEAD>
    
<TITLE>OLD HTML REDIRECT</TITLE>
    
<META HTTP-EQUIV="REFRESH"
                  
CONTENT="1;
                  URL=http://www.tinaja.com/default.shtml">
     
</HEAD>
     
<body>
    
Taking you to our new website.
    
</body>
    
</html>

Also, be sure to use a NONZERO TIMEOUT on any
of your redirects!
Failing to do so traps your viewers
so their back arrows no longer work. And is considered
extremely rude.

August 7, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

My very first published story was A Solid
State 3-Channel Color Organ
in the April 1963
&Issue of Electronics World.

A third party reprint appears here, and much
about the way things were here.

The main reason we don't have much in the way
of color organs anymore is that computer based
displays completely blew them out of the water.

One stunning example of which are the Animusic
videos.

August 6, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

After seeking some "What do to with 4WD in
downtown Thatcher"
input from others, I guess
we can add some of these to our earlier A List and
B list. We'll call this the B+ List...

     BIG LUE BLACKJACK - Another family
     values site just above steep terrain on the
     
NM border. A hidden trail leads to dams
     and small lakes plus the Maverick ATV
     route.

     NORTH TAYLOR & FRIENDS - Access
     to fire lookouts, springs, old ranger stations,
     and hikes to historic sawmill sites. South
     Taylor shows a 4WD route clear to the pass,
     condition unknown.

    UPPER SAN FRANCISCO - A high standard
    but apparently little used mine dirt road above
    Clifton leads to caves, swimming, fishing, a
    B&B, old tramway sites, and access to some
   
really remote country.

   THE GREASEWOODS - Lots of poorly connected
   trails head to remote tanks. And even many of the
   washes themselves are eminently explorable.
   Access points include Stockton Pass, Jernigan
   Ranch road, 10 Ranch road, and Wood Canyon,
   among others.

   JUAN MILLER ROAD - Reaches into the Lower
   Blue country. Highly scenic with unusual geology.
   A flood long ago converted superbly legendary
   hot spring access into a 15 mile overnight backpack.
   Horsey routes via Luna might actually be faster.

   STANLEY BUTTE - Leads to coal mine country
   and mythical routes further west. Ghost towns
   and hunter camps. I've wondered about the cave
   potential of Limestone Mountain and Crystal hill.

   PIMA GAP - One time res access may be blocked
   these days by the reservation on the north and PD to
   the east. But many square miles of vast open table
   lands and bajadas remain explorable via the Markum
   Creek road or the Bryce access points.

   THE GALIUROS - One of the most remote and
    little explored mountain ranges in all of Southen
    Arizona. Some access via Powers Hill, Paddy's
    River, Ash Creek, Copper Canyon, Reddington,
    or Jackson Cabin. The secret heart, of course,
    is
little known and seldom visited Redfield Canyon.
    Check out Powers Garden and the bizarre China
    Peak Observatory.

For those of you wondering where Thacher is,
Thatcher forms the central commercial hub of
the greater Bonita-Eden-Sanchez Metropolitan
Area
. Thatcher lies somewhat west of Guthrie.

August 5, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Added Wesrch, kijiji Tucson, and kiji Phoenix
to our home page; Fixed the broken CIA Factbook
link.

Wesrch is an outstanding new route to publishing
technical papers
. It has the potential to completely
blow scholarly journals out of the water.

Added content to our Auction Help, Ask the Guru,
and GuruGram library pages.

August 4, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Latest GuruGram #78 is Volume VI of Enhancing
your eBay Strategic and Technical Skills
.

Sourcecode can be found here. Additional GuruGrams
here. Custom consulting and seminars here.

August 3, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Someone on the sci.electronics.design newsgroup
posed a question of what a waveform would look like
that had all harmonics present and of equal strength.

This is a trivial project for my Gonzo Utilities...

        %! PS
       % Equal Harmonic generator

       (C:\\Documents and Settings\\don\\Desktop\\
       gonzo\\gonzo.ps) run % use internal gonzo

      50 50 10 setgrid
      40 20 showgrid
      0 10 mt
      /totalharms 20 store

     0 0.1 180 {/priang exch store
            priang 20 mul 90 div
            0
           1 1 totalharms {/curharm exch store
                      priang curharm mul sin add} for
          2 mul 10 add lineto} for
     line1 stroke showpage

After creating this file in an editor and sending
it to Acrobat Distiller, we see that a harmonic
limited version would have a narrow large positive
pulse
just after zero degrees and a narrow large
negative pulse
just before 360 degrees.

The signal can be faked by a repeating train of
narrow bipolar pulses
. It may have some interesting
ultra wideband apps.

August 2, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Got a recent email asking if color organs are
still available. I did dozens of construction projects
on these, starting with the very first solid state
3 channel color organ in the April 1963 &Issue of
Electronics World.

Per this history. One of my more recent designs
and one of the very best of all time appears here.

You can get tens of thousands of hits on Google.
Generally, there are simple and appallingly poor
performing units for the hobby market, and premium
systems for DJ's and rock concert lighting.

These days, though, color organs still share these
severe problems...

      BETTER HDTV DISPLAYS -- computer
      display systems are infinitely more flexible,
      far more interesting, and much less boring.
      Plus being off-the-shelf hardware.

      DYNAMIC RANGE -- of most color organs is
      sorely limited. This can be gotten around with
      an AGC input, extreme compression, and phase/
      brightness equalization, but is never done on
      cheaper versions.

     COLOR SATURATION - ordinary colored light
      bulbs put out far more white light than they do
      color. Saturated multiple filter gels or something
      similar are a must for interesting results. Heat
      management can become a problem.

     RADIO FREQUENCY INTERFERENCE - phase
     control of triacs or SCR's generate tremendous
     rfi unless they are carefully filtered and shielded.

     STATIC DISPLAY - the number of colors and what
     they do is usually fixed and sorely limited.

    TOTAL COSTS - The price of the control electronics
     is negligible compared to the cost of the wiring and
     labor, custom display materials, bulbs, etc... etc...

August 1, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

As this Google Search shows us, many obsolete
semiconductors have gotten a lot easier to find.

My favorite here remains Rochester Electronics.

We have bunches of outdated 2SA through 2SD
series Pacific Rim semiconductors still available
on eBay.

At prices far lower than anywhere else. But certain
values are disappearing fast and we are unlikely to
find more anytime soon.

July 31, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Is it a bad sign when your local mechanic cannot
learn how to get the key out of your car's ignition?

July 30, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

BTW, here is a repeat of how simple it
is to put an expanding photo into a blog...

      
<a href=""http://www.tinaja.com/images/
      bargs/car01.jpg">

     
<img src="http://www.tinaja.com/images/
     bargs/car01.jpg" width="171" height="108"
     border="0"></a>

The first url is the photo you are going to click
expand upon. The second is the image you are
going to present. Spaces can precede the image
to improve centering.

Note that the second image should be exactly
1/4 or 1/2 the size of the first one.
If appearance
of the small image is super critical, then you should
create a new and separate 1:1 image of the desired
size using better reduction software.

July 29, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Here's a photo of the 1994 4WD Pathfinder
we have for sale. You can click expand the
image...
 

             


Additional details appear here.

July 28, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I've long been fascinated with graphics
transforms
, both linear and nonlinear. First
because they are there and second for their
immediate use in our eBay photography.

I thought I might look at improving our
existing routines. Perhaps by creating a
generic shell that converts a .BMP image
into three separate planes of padding free
red, blue, and green pixels. Plus a rotated
version of these three. Plus a recombine
proc that would regenerate a new bitmap.

Some immediate uses for this might be...

   IMPROVED ROTATION - The
   Imageview32 rotator we use is limited
    to one degree alignment. A half or even
   a quarter degree would be more useful.

   IMPROVED TILT- Our current
   Architects Perspective corrector tends to
   distort if the adjustment is too strong.
   Fancier calcs can take out this distortion.

   PERSPECTIVE LETTERING - Correcting
   the lettering on a three quarter view digital
   image can be a bear. A fancier enough
   remapper can make this quick and convenient.

   HSB ADJUSTER - Being able to "rotate" colors
   through the spectrum might be very useful.
   Both for minor adjustments or gross special effects.

   IMAGE RECTIFICATION - Mapping four
   selected edge points into a rectangle could prove
   exceptionally useful. Even more so its inverse
   where you "uncorrect" to a rectangle, fix the
   rectangle, and then put it back.

  IMAGE DOWNSCALING - This takes a
  combination of interpolation and averaging
  to do this and is nontrivial for significant
  size reductions.

July 27, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I'm wondering if the global warming carbon in
the atmosphere won't eventually become so
valuable that taking too much of it out will be
the problem rather than putting too much of
it in
.

Two stunning new developments in graphene
may very much accelerate the demand for
carbon. In one, nanolayers are proving to
be as good a copper for integrated circuit
interconnects.

In a second, easy to make graphene papers
are exhibiting incredible structural properties.

Zillions of hits here, a tutorial here, and more
on copper replacement here, and more on grapene
papers here.

July 26, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I continue to be impressed by the WeSRCH
website. Time will tell whether this concept
has enough "legs" to approach Wikipedia
class resources.

Basically, the site lets anybody instantly publish
a technical paper
. While the author retains any and
all rights. And apparently with enough vetting
controls ( mostly viewer feedback ) to keep the
overall quality and relevance surprisingly high.

As we've seen a number of times before, I feel that
traditional scholarly journals are clearly doomed.

It makes no sense whatsoever for a researcher to pay
thousands of dollars to get published in a year or
two in a negligible circulation journal that their own
library cannot afford to subscribe to
.

Existing peer review tends to place far too more
emphasis on which host institution the author is
associated with rather than the merits and qualities
of the paper itself.

Very often, the best innovations come from individuals
and small scale startups
rather than outrageously
overfunded government sponsored university research.

Giving these individuals the opportunity to instantly
publish to a worldwide audience very much levels the
playing field.

The very least that the scholarly pubs will have to
do to survive is to make ALL papers more than
three years old freely available without ANY
restrictions
. I do not see this happening anytime
soon.

July 25, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

The term "crowdsourcing" is new, but the
underlying concept has been around for quite
a while. In which you solicit problem solutions
from just about anybody
instead of having your
own R&D facility.

Solutions are very much more based on usefulness
rather than on the credentials of the supplier.

A tutorial appears here, millions of hits here,
and a NPR broadcast here.

July 24, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

One of the dilemmas I continually face on our
lists of most anything is exactly how much to
include and how much to leave out
.

Its super important to not m&Iss any obvious
biggies. But just as important to not water down
any list with tedious second tier trivia.

One answer is to group the "also rans" into
an ending summary. This is what we did in our
Secrets of Technical Innovation tutorial.

It was frustrating deciding where to stop on our
recent 4WD near Thatcher list. I expanded and
revised it four times. And are having others look
at it for new suggestions.

Here's a few that just m&Issed the cut...

 
   PIMA BADLANDS - Miles and miles of
    miles of miles between Patterson Mesa and
    the gas line. Rugged and seldom visited.

    FREEMAN FLAT - Close in with easy access.
    Lots of eroded trails and failed WPA projects that
    either do not or did not go anywhere. Some ruins.

   ALLEN RESERVOIR --Turn at the main runway in
   Thatcher International Airport and loop around.
   Big time dam failure. Watch out for refrigerators
   and similar minor debris on the runway. VFR only. 

  DEADMAN CANYON - Hike to waterfalls, visit
  a unique canal system that goes along the top of a
  high ridgeline, sneak back under the dam.

   OLD GOAT RANCH - Destructive erosional
   features caused by extreme overgrazing on the
   San Simon are just short of spectacular.
And the
   cows are still there. Totally inexcusable.

Chances are I'll be adding more to this and the
previous list, so keep checking back

July 23, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Any time that someone tries to tell you that
"energy can neither be created nor destroyed",
they are really revealing their utter and total
cluelessness of all things thermodynamic.

The correct statement is " It is trivially easy to
irreversibly and irrecoverably destroy the quality
and value of energy
."

For you are dealing with a three legged stool here.
You cannot ever consider energy without simultaneously
considering entropy and exergy
.

Exergy is a measure of the quality and usefulness of
energy. To measure exergy, you change the energy
into a different form, and then change it back. And see
how much you have left.

For instance, you can go from electrical energy to mechanical
energy back to electrical energy without much loss at all.
Which is why electricity has extremely high exergy.

Use the electricity to produce, say, resistance room heat,
and you can only get the tiniest fraction of the original back
as electricity. Thus, resistance room heat irreversibly and
destructively forever destroys the quality and value of
energy.


Electrolysis for bulk hydrogen from high value sources is
a good example of "ain't gonna happen" because of the
staggering and irretrievable loss of exergy involved. There
always will be more intelligent things to do with the electricity.

Much more in our Energy Fundamentals tutorial.

July 22, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I continue to be amazed by how far scientific
measurement has come in the last few years.

Its particularly frustrating when you are trying
to salvage some value from a $100,000 optics
system that is only a decade old.

In that decade, light measurement went from
large and cumbersome PMT photomultiplier
tubes to cheap, easy to use, and vanishingly small
CCD and silicon light detectors.

Back then, if you wanted to measure the attenuation
at a particular light frequency, you started with a
complex white source, ran it through an even more
complex tiltable prism or diffraction grating, and then
painfully time analyzed things on a color by color basis.

These days, you simply run 256 or 1024 or more
sensors side by side and shove the light through a
prism or grating. No fuss, no muss. And trivial cost.

You do change the name while you are at it. What was
a spectraphotometer is now a colorimeter.

We've got some of this up on eBay.

July 21, 2007                                                                                           deeplink


By the most astounding coincidence, I now have
a 1994 N&Issan Pathfinder XE for sale. Outside of its
176,000 miles, there does not appear to be anything
really major wrong with it. Nor has it ever been in any
significant accident. Nonsmoking owners.

4WD with professional U-Haul trailer hitch and wiring.
Roof rack, posi, A/C, somewhat oversize all terrain tires,
tint, power mirrors, AM/FM/Cassette, power locks,
etc...

Known problems appear minor. There are a few smaller
dings. The rear mainseal has a very minor leak that
has not changed significantly for years. The posi is
a little noisy initially backing up, but quiets down and,
again, has not changed significantly, There is a rear
door idiot light that we never have been able to fix and
stays on. The tween seat console may need some fixing.

Asking $4900. You can email me or call (928) 428-4073
for further details. Immediate availability. Located in
Thatcher, AZ, 85552. Thatcher is in the greater Bonita-
Eden-Sanchez
metropolitan area.

July 20, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Refurb Log:

Sometimes, nonobvious or indirect methods may have
to be used
to solve what should be a simple problem.

Type "N" connectors have long seen wide use as
premium quality larger microwave cables and panel
jacks. It turns out there are two flavors of these that
are not interchangeable.

50 Ohm "N" connectors are by far the most common.
The 75 Ohm "N" devices are much rarer. Plugging 50
Ohm male into 75 Ohm female can damage the female.
Plugging 50 Ohm female into 75 Ohm can give an
intermittent
connection.

75 Ohm connectors sometimes have a black stripe on
them.

We have a zillion older and super premium Gilbert
type N panel jacks up on eBay and the question came
up which impedance these were. Corning/Gilbert was
most unhelpful in tracing their older part numbers.

So we came up with two schemes that suggest these
are the more useful 50 Ohm variety
. First, repeated
insertions of known 50 Ohm male adaptors showed
no obvious wear or stress on a sample jack.

Secondly, when you send the .050 inner conductor,
an apparent teflon insulator, and an 0.160 teflon
diameter to this calculator, it comes back right at
50.00 Ohms
.

The actual ( and somewhat messy ) formula for coax
impedance appears here or here.

July 19, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Just got the 4Runner I'd been looking for. Many
thanks to those of you with leads and suggestions.

I've long been a fan of 4 wheel drive vehicles. But
I more use them to safely get "halfway there" and
then dayhike the rest of the distance. So, I am not
really into any of the "rockers, lockers, and sliders"
destruction derbies.

Arizona, of course, is a 4WD paradise, especially
in such areas as the Lower Bradshaw mountains.

But here's my choice of favorite nearby routes...

    FRYE MESA - Easy and close in with tinajas,
    swimming, fishing, rock scrambling, falls, more.
    Hang right at Junky Jerrys. Then go straight
    just past the third cow.

    THE RUG ROAD - Our world class toughie
    got easier with some of the stairsteps taken
    out but harder because of a few-chips-shy-of-
    a-full-board landowner. VERY difficult.

   SHINGLE MILL CANYON - The original
   toll road up the Grahams is now impassible in
   at least eight places, but remains eminently
   explorable. Home of the Mt. Graham Tramway.

   DUNES HOT WELL -- The sand dunes here are
   not remotely in the "Yuma" league, but they are
   much closer and totally open to most OHV uses.

   CEDAR SPRINGS - A "family values" type of
   2WD/4WD/Quad site often used for religious retreats.
   The drought has caused the actual springs to go from
   impressively large to the tiniest intermittent seep.

   BOX AND MARTINEZ CANYONS - Extremely
   popular among the rockers and lockers crowd.
   Tends toward traffic jams on weekends. The
   legendary "luge" is apparently now impassible.

   MARIJILDA CANYON - Perfect for the absolute
   newbie 4WD beginner. Trees, wading, ruins. Easy
   and short. Very impressive tinajas much further
   upcanyon foot only via Round The Mountain.
   Lebanon Loop has gotten, um, challenging.

    JOHNNY CREEK - Sedate afternoon through
    country on the far side of back of beyond. Rock
    formations, ruins, and oak/juniper woodlands.
    New mine activity may prevent a loop or need
    permits.

   BACK COUNTRY BYWAY -- While mainly 2WD or
   for wimps or newbies, it does give access to Guthrie
   peak, a historical bridge, remote Gila Box access,
   Yellowstone Canyon, kayak whitewater put in, riparian
   campling and picnic areas, and Gillard Hot Springs.

   DAY MINE ROAD - Easy and scenic. Just do not
   try to loop back through Markum Creek! You
   can't get there from here!

   FISHERMAN'S POINT - Conveniently located in
   the central portion of the NM upper middle lower box.
   Superb swimming and wading. Impressive cliffs.

   WHITLOCK CINEGA - Hot wells, hot lakes, old
    stage stations, Zeolite mines, caves, rockhound stuff,
    and extreme remoteness.

    FISHOOKS AND WEST - Superb wilderness access,
    some riparian, ruins, more.

    WEST END MINES - Great heaping bunches of
    history just across the state line. Easy loop. Also
    warm spring, Apache Box, and Buddhist retreat.

    BEAR BASIN - Via Sand Tank. Probably the least
    used route for Mt Grahm north center flank access.
    I suspect there is interesting water upcanyon.

    EAGLE CREEK THE HARD WAY? - Just a theory
    that you can go directly from Safford to Eagle Creek
    by way of the top of Turtle Mountain. I've only done
    half of this on foot.

   UPPER BONITA - Spectacular but difficult. Often
   closed at indian boundary. Remote stream camping.
   Big trees, ruins, and shelter caves. Water level
   access was flood destroyed many years ago, so you
   have to use the high Eastern Toppy's Cave route.

   BUFORD CANYON - World class rock climbing
   nearby on this back route from Cottonwood Mountain
   to Klondyke. Heart of the Santa Teresas.

   FOUR MILE TO COPPER CREEK? - Ancient maps
   show a road. Whether it still exists at all and whether
   ranchers will give you access remains challenging.

July 18, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Latest GuruGram #77 is on Gauss-Jordan
Solution of nxn Linear Equations
.

Sourcecode can be found here. Additional GuruGrams
here. Custom consulting and seminars here.

July 17, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I am about to part out an outrageously
expensive but pretty much obsolete Pritchard
1982C
spectraphotometer.

As near as I can tell, only one was ever sold.

This particular unit appears to have been
extensively modified
for the military in that
the spectrometer part is a huge aluminum
box containing a precision driven diffraction
grating and two reflective mirrors. An elaborate
high intensity light source is also included.

It appears to be complete but we have not
yet tested it. Included is the photometer head
with filters and lenses, the spectrometer box,
the light source, and a double controller display
system. No docs or cables.

Please email me immediately if you have any
interest in this $60,000+ system as is for
pennies on the dollar. Unit apparently can
be disassembled into UPS size pieces.


July 16, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Latest GuruGram #76 is on An 8 Decimal Place
PostScript Real Numeric Reporting Utility
.

Sourcecode can be found here. Additional GuruGrams
here. Custom consulting and seminars here.

July 15, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Just found out that the Canary Islands were named
after a large dog.

July 14, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Latest GuruGram #75 is on Acrobat PDF Post-Document
Editing
.

Sourcecode can be found here. Additional GuruGrams
here. Custom consulting and seminars here.

July 13, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

People keep sending me these utterly bogus and
not even wrong links that claim a pv panel can
show an installed net energy gain after a few years.

In reality, all this wishful thinking does is show how
a scam can rip off state or federal subsidies after
only a few years.


Through outright theft of traditional net energy.

The key and dead wrong assumption these links make
is assuming that a subsidy is in some manner "free" or
"energy neutral".

A typical subsidy might have an "iceberg effect" of 3X
in admin costs, collection inefficiencies, and such. Thus
it is reasonable to assume that any $1000 solar panel
credit destroys approximately $3000 in gasoline
. Or
traditional conventional net energy equivalents.

Absolute proof that conventional silicon pv panels are
not in any manner renewable or sustainable are that
not one power utility anyplace ever is using them for
routine avoided cost peaking
free of subsidies, tax
credits, or greenie pr.

On the basis of very careful and very objective long
term study, I strongly feel that...

   ~ Conventional silicon pv is not in any manner
        renewable nor sustainable. Nor is it ever likely
        to become so. It is and likely will forever remain
        a net energy sink.

    ~ When properly full burden amortized and accounted
        for on a total industry wide basis, not one net
        watthour of conventional silicon pv has ever been
        generated.

   
  ~ New and ongoing developments in CIGS, in Quantum
        Dots and in Tetrapods appear likely to eventually
        lead to truly renewable and sustainable pv net energy.

    ~ The net energy sink aspects of pv are certain to get a
        lot worse before they can ever hope to improve.
        Caused by big bucks being thrown at potentially
        useful new technologies. And the conventional energy
        those big bucks consume.

    ~ Subsidies and tax credits have the exact opposite of the
       intended effect. It is totally pointless to pay people to
       put gasoline destroying net energy sinks on inappropriate
       rooftops. An annual tax of $1000 per net energy sink panel
       installed would do far more long term good much faster
.

Much more in our Energy Fundamentals tutorial.

July 12, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

After working with both of them recently, it
is interesting to compare and contrast some of
the more obscure features of PostScript and
JavaScript as general purpose computer
languages
...

   STYLE - PS shares the reverse polish, stack
   oriented, loosely typed heritage of Forth; JS has
   a more conventional C language class architecture.

   REACH - PS can easily read or write any host
   based disk file in any language. JS is specifically
   and absolutely forbidden to do so.

   GRAPHICS - PS is a world class superb graphics
   defining technology; JS graphics as normally used
   are inherently inferior and frustratingly second rate.

   INTERACTIVITY - PS is pretty much limited to
   batch tasks involving creation of graphics files,
   log files, and host disk read/writes. JS can be
   exceptionally real time user interactive.

   MATH - PS uses 32 bit math but usually only
   reports to six decimal places. JS has a full 64-bit
   floating point capability.

   TRIG - PS works directly in degrees, while JS
   works directly in radians.

   VARIABLE SCOPE - PS variables are normally
    global unless defined otherwise. JS variables are
    normally local unless declared otherwise.

   THE STACK - Elegant stack manipulation is central
   to PS powers and capabilities. The stack in JS is an
   optional and seldom used sideshow.

   CALCULATED VARIABLES - These are easily
   done with PS, but require a much more obtuse
   form["fa00"]["value"] approach with JS.

   LEARNING CURVE - Much of PS is intuitive and
   easily picked up. JS details can be mind-boggling
   and maddeningly infuriating.

  PASSING VARIABLES BETWEEN PROCS - Is
  vastly simpler and more intuitive in PS, while JS
  is far more obtuse but can be more flexible.

  FORM REFERENCING - Largely unused and
  unneeded in PS, but confusingly essential to JS.

  
NUMERIC ROUNDOFFS - A rare event in PS,
  but untreated 3.99999999 results in JS are common
  and may need programmatic correction.

July 11, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Sometimes is it necessary to show two levels
of detail in a photo for an eBay offering or whatever.
Such as the overall appearance of a cable and
exact details on its pin arrangement.

One interesting way to deal with this is to use an
inset
. Where one photo or image does double duty.

Such as in this example.

July 10, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Refurb Log:

At one time, it was enormously difficult to pick
up a home three phase power source for a larger
machine tool or whatever. But these days, it has
become trivial.

There are now very reasonably priced devices
called VFD's and short for Variable Frequency
Drives
that are intended to control the speed of
three phase induction motors.

But one little known and underappreciated fact
is that these often accept single phase input power.
Typically values might be a 110 vac single phase
input and a 220 vac three phase output rated to a
horsepower or two.

The variable speed feature can also simplify belts
and drives. Torque tends to be a little light on the
low end, but some devices provide for boost.

Pricing is typically in the hundred dollar range. We
have sold these on eBay for as little as $50 but are
presently out of stock.

July 9, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Few people are aware that PostScript strings can
be written and read as file objects. Subject only to
a 65K maximum length limit.

Here is how to read...

    /str1 (This is a test) store
    /file1 str1 0 () /SubFileDecode filter store
    6 {file1 read pop == } repeat

And here is how to write...

  
 /str2 (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz) store
   /file2 str2 /NullEncode filter store
   file2 65 write
   file2 66 write
   file2 67 write
   str2 ==

One easy to m&Iss detail: the SubFileDecode needs
three inputs: the original string, a magic count that
is usually zero, and an end-of-file marker. The magic
count tells you how many occurances of EOF to ignore
before the "real" one arrives.

When used to read a string, though, the magic count
can be zero and the end-of-file marker can be a zero
length blank string.

July 8, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Plans for the world's largest gastoline destroying
net energy sink
have been recently announced.

Exact cost figures have not been disclosed, so it
is not yet clear how efficient this will be
at actually
destroying gasoline. My prediction is it will end up
significantly more effective than expected.

The true area of the industry defining Springerville
facility produces an effective conversion of 5 watts per
square meter
. A comparable 640 acre site would thus
only be capable of one seventh of their claimed new
capability. Assuming 100 percent site utilization.

Somebody apparently did not look at the numbers.

Especially the ones that says that eight cents per
kilowatt hour is simply a "paint it green" transfer
of conventional energy sources.
And that true costs
would have to be significantly under six cents per
kilowatt hour for true sustainability or renewability
to ever credibly emerge.

This should mesh beautifully with the California
Solar Initiative, which is highly likely to set pv net
energy breakeven back by over five decades.

Further analysis here for February 17th and 19th.

More on energy fundamentals here.

July 7, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Many movies and plays have a plot device
called ( with various spellings ) a MacGuffin.

The MacGuffin is vague or ambiguous by itself
but is otherwise essential to scene progress.

Curiously, the free energy enthuasiasts all seem
to have thier own MacGuffins. Such as the recent
"the lights were too hot" by Steorn, "the rear axle
ratio needs changing
" by Newman, the "white
powder additive
" from Meyer, and the "DeLorean
blew a wheel bearing
" from Tilley.

A crucial skill for evaluating all of this happy
horseshit is being able to sharply draw the distinction
between useful adjuncts to porcine whole body
cleanliness
and total hogwash.

More on pseudoscience bashing here.

July 6, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I guess something has to end up on the
bottom of the pile. But we have several
absolutely outstanding bargains long
awaiting the right buyer. On or off eBay.

The first of these are our Bell Telephone
Labs color standards
. These are highly
precise plastic color chips, many of which
include their exact chrominance and luminance
values. These should be ideal for everything
from adjusting "true color"displays to product
planning to spectrophotometer calibrations.

Second are some superb locking totes that
are ideal for everything from food for a stand,
kiddy stuff, in-plant documents or
inventory,
third party transport, rock concerts, construction,
etc etc...

Third are packages of do-it-yourself cable ties
that you can make any custom length up to
fifty feet. Or over fifteen feet in diameter!

And last but not least are the pair of eminently
restorable Eastman 1908 commercial movie
projectors.
Disassembled, ready for restoration,
and UPS shippable.

Please email me if you have any interest in these.

July 5, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

eBay just started up a new US Craig's List
imitator wannabe at www.kijiji.com.

It is kinda empty since it only has been up
for a few hours, and I feel the name choice
is far beyond very bad
. Initial nav is much
better than Craig's List, though.

Except it does a HCF ( halt and catch fire )
when I enter my own zipcode.

Promotion apparently will be very low key
for a while, and the whole deal is apparently
quite experimental.

Curiously, eBay owns a big chunk of
Craig's List. A reasonable bet is that the
two will eventually merge with a buyout.

Possibly with "ain't broke" Craig's list
doing business as usual and new concepts
being tested and evaluated on kijiji.

This, of course, is the last thing that newspapers
want or need.

July 4, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Them, during today's fire truck parade: "Wave
to the crowd like you really meant it"


Me: "Umm, I don't think you really want me to
do that."

July 3, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Lots of bad press over a free energy demo
that - surprise surprise - had to be cancelled.

Some of the proponents of this technology are
claiming that the energy comes from and is
removed from magnets that slowly discharge.

Ain't gonna happen.

How much total energy is stored in a better
grade magnet?

You can calculate this sort of thing directly.
Or else use an equivalent solenoid and the
Joules = 1/2 Li^2 formula. But there is a
much faster and sneakier way:

Here is a typical magnetizer for "normal"
magnets. Its total energy storage is 8000
Joules
. A Joule is one watt second and there
are
3600 watt seconds in a watt hour.

If 100 percent of this energy were to end up
in the magnet ( dream on ), you would be
talking a whopping 2.22 watthours of energy
storage.

Thus, the total energy stored in a typical
magnet is laughingly miniscule
.

More on pseudoscience bashing here.

July 2, 2007                                                                                           deeplink


Finding the length of a PostScript file from
within a program is slightly tricky and non-obvious.

The -length- command does not accept a file as
an input. Instead, you combine -fileposition- with
-bytesavailable-. Like so...

             filename fileposition
             
filename bytesavailable add

PostScript and other consulting available.

July 1, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Refurb Log:

There's quite a difference in meaning between
the terms "normally open" or NO and "normally
closed"
between electrical or electronic switches
and between hydraulics or pneumatics.

A NO electrical switch does not conduct current
if it is not activated. A NC one does.

A NO pneumatic or hydraulic switch does freely
pass gas or liquid if not activated, while a NC
one does not.

Wait, it gets even more complicated. Electrical
single pole single throw (SPST) switches are
quite useful and very common. But a SPST
pneumatic or hydraulic switch usually has a
grievous flaw.

Suppose you open a path to one end of an air
or hydraulic cylinder to a supply. The pipe
fills with air or oil and the cylinder extends.
Close the path, and the oil or air remains
stuck in the pipe!

There is no way to get the cylinder back the
way it was without first emptying the supply
pipe!

A two way valve works like a SPST switch
and is largely useless except to, say, bleed
off a vacuum or pressure tank.

Most common are three way valves. When
actuated, the pipe fills. When released, the
pipe vents to ambient or returns to the pump.

You can also have a four way valve that acts
as a DPDT switch. In one position, the
cylinder is extended. In the other it returns.
One pipe gets filled and one gets emptied.

But you can only either fully extend or fully
return the cylinder. You cannot stop in the
middle.

More popular variants are five way valves.
these add a "center off" feature. In the
left position, a forklift goes up to a desired
height. In the center position, that height is
held. In the right position, the height can be
adjusted downward.

The 5-way center position could also be free
with both pipes venting or returning. But this
is a less common option.

June 30, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Sometimes you just know when an obscure
auction is gonna go overwhelmingly in your favor.
It only happens one time in twenty or so.

Sure signs are a second tier auctioneer doing
poor promotion. And very few people attending
with even fewer interested in the stuff you are.

Always keep track of how many numbers get
&Issued.


And the sole goal of the auction being to clear
out the property for reuse. With lots of "contents
of cabinet" and "contents of room" deals. And
continual negotiating to get around the $2.50
minimums.

Still, though, it is trivially easy to snatch defeat
from the jaws of victory.
If you bid on too little
to make your time and effort worthwhile. Or on
too much leading to all sorts of loading and
hauling difficulties.

Or if the stuff flat out will not sell on eBay. Or if its
price per pound or price per cubic foot is two low. Or
if the really good stuff got pulled at the last instant.

Or on stuff you have no insider knowledge on
or can not upgrade with personal value added.

Or on stuff that is woefully obsolete but not
remotely collectible
. Or requiring extensive
refurb or repair.

Deals are almost always "too good to be true".

Much more on our Auction Help library page.

June 29, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Yet another example of Arizona backcountry
engineering would be the Black River Pumping
Plant
. Which is a tad newer, dating from 1944.

Water from a 400 foot deep Black River canyon
is pumped up onto a flat mesa and then across
a divide via a seven mile long pipe that eventually
dumps into Willow Creek, a small tributary of Eagle
Creek
.

Some 51 miles (!) or so later, the water is pumped
up another thousand feet or so to form a supply
for the Morenci mine and townsite. Total water
transferred is something like 14,000 acre feet
maximum per year. Or somewhere around
several thousand gallons per minute.

There is a power station on the mesa with
beautiful old black and bronze Fairbanks
Morse
diesel engines. Lagely supplemented,
though, by a modern transm&Ission line.

Access to the river level pumping station
is via a combination tramway, pipeline,
power line, and walkway
. There's also a super
scary aerial cable car at the bottom to access
a stream gauge and calibrate the riverbed.

I am not sure what percentage of the water gets
lost to evaporation and groundwater recharge, but
I suspect it is a bunch.

Let's see. If you wanted to lift a thousand gallons
vertically by 1500 feet, something like 12,000,000 foot
pounds of work would be required. Equal to about
4.5 kilowatt hours or 45 cents worth of electricity.

But there are 330,000 gallons per acre foot. So the
total power bill is clearly well beyond pocket change.
Not counting the indian payments, labor, and maint.

Eagle creek scenery is spectacular. Permits may
be needed from PD or the tribe, depending on
where you want to visit. Eagle Creek also holds
one of many variants on the Lost Adam's Digging
treasure lore. Plus caves and hot springs.

June 28, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I split up our Magic Sinewave library into two
separate pages. One now holds only the latest
and best info
, while the other is a historical
archive
and previous development timeline.

Your best starting point on Magic Sinewaves are
here and here.

June 27, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Flashback to the late ( very late ) fifties: Did you
know that "Peanuts, Popcorn, Cracker Jack" can
be chanted to the tune of "For the Beauty of the
Earth
"?

Thus totally disrupting a Prebyterian church choir
processional. Which is probably one reason why
they don't have Presbyterians anymore.

June 26, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Photography gives us a stunning example of
the Instant Gratification via Time Compression
in our Tech Innovation Secrets tutorial.

I started off with my tech photos for the PE
and other construction projects with an ancient
2-1/4 x 3-1/4 speed graphic which later got
upgraded to a Calumet 4x5 view camera. While
Bee first used a Voitlander and then a Rolliflex
for her travel stories.

With the actual slopping in the slush getting done
by a grouchy but exceptionally competent photo
finisher across town. And litho work done by
a different commercial firm.

Eventually we moved and had to buld our own
darkroom. Which only magnified the number of steps
between an image need and its actual delivery. And
had to get into the ugly scene of actually owning
and using a litho camera for our pc and panel work.

These days, we have instant digital photography.
And composition does not particularly matter any,
more because virtually all of your value added lies
in your image postproc.

Our preferred studio "cameras" today include a
Nikon CoolPix and a decent HP scanner with a very
high depth of field. Sometimes used simultaneously
on the same subject. With composition viewed on
a large computer monitor.

The Nikon does tend to burn into the white on
highlights and lacks instant wireless comm. Besides
being rough on batteries. And we could use some
improvement in the light tent area

But, my oh my, where we are compared to where we
once were.

Samples here and tutorials here.
Consulting and seminars available.

June 25, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I often get emails from individuals who think
they have made a startling energy breakthrough
and where can they get a stick to beat back all of the
investors and buyers?

As I have pretty much conclusively proven with
my Magic Sinewave development, there is very
little demand for alternate energy solutions today!

Virtually all of high profile alternate energy is a
scam of one sort or another. Aimed at stealing either
investor bucks or government funding dollars.

In most of the emails I receive, the proponent will
often commit what those French Veternarians call a
"four paw".

Where they talk about kilowatts of energy, believe
in physical law violations, claim hydrogen fuel cell
efficiencies above 83 percent, fail to include all the
containment weight in their mass energy density
claims ( hydrogen, of course, is much worse than
gasoline ) , or believe that "pulsed DC is somehow
different from "ac".

O
r otherwise label themselves as not having the
faintest clue
. And certainly having not done their
homework

Just in case you m&Issed the turn above, "kilowatts"
are a unit of power, not a unit of energy. And the
absolute limit of a hydrogen fuel cell is five sixths
or 83 percent. Because electrolysis can be up to
one sixth endothermic and there ain't no free lunch.

Fourier Series guarantees ac components of
any pulse.

And electrolysis itself is totally useless, because
all it does is inefficiently convert many high value
kilowatt hours into fewer ones of much lower value.
Caused by the staggering loss of exergy.

Others fail to realize that current dollars are
fully fungible and interchangeable with current
kilowatt hours of energy.
With a dime per KWH
being the usual exchange rate on a utility contract.

Or that fully burdened NET energy delivery is
all that really matters in the big picture and the
long run. For which you can consider the "iceberg
effect"
of any subsidy to be at least a 3:1 penalty.

At any rate, two potentially useful funding sources
for your alternate energy breakthrough can be
found here and here.

The only tiny kicker is that the skills need to scam
government research dollars are largely the exact
opposite of those needed to do competent independent
research 
in the first place.

Much more in our Energy Fundamentals tutorial.

June 24, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Latest GuruGram #74 asks "What is the
"best" eBay price?"


In which we find that...

    ~ Around 75 percent of eBay sales
       lose money.

    ~ Less than 5 percent of
eBay sales
       exceed $100.

    ~  Typical sellthru is only 0.4.

    ~ A buyer is THIRTY TIMES more
       likely to make a $20 purchase than
       a $100 one.

    ~ The
eBay market for big ticket items
       is much lower than most people suspect.

Sourcecode appears here and additional
GuruGrams here.

June 23, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I've been wanting to upgrade to a HDTV display
and have pretty much discovered that we ain't quite
there yet.


A reasonable goal would be 32 inch diagonal format,
minimum contrast of 5000:1, LCD with LED backlight,
1080p native progressive resolution, and less than 4
millisecond response times.

And, of course $490 maximum delivered price.

Thin, flat, light, long lived, and rugged, naturally.
With superb resolution enhancing smarts. And at
least 1000 cd/m2 long term brightness.

It is curious that you can get very small 1080p screens
and very large ones, but no middle sized ones. This
makes no sense whatsoever. There is no reason to
believe that 720p vertical resolution will have ANY
use in the future.


720p to me seems to be a sleezoid manufacturer's way
out of low production yields.
And interlaced anything,
of course, is similarly doomed.

Nor should there be any reason to draw any distinction
whatsoever
between a "computer monitor" and a "tv set".

Things are definitely on the downslope of the learning
curve, though.

June 22, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

A quite serious problem arises whenever you use
4-point barbed wire for premium audio speaker
connections: The barb points are all sharp and will
thus raise the pitch of any music.

The usual workaround is to make an equalizer out
of a carefully chosen length of flat ribbon cable.

Additional details are found here.

June 21, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

There's a new WeSRCH.COM website up. That
just might end up a useful new engineering resource.
Especially to new graduates seeking their first
jobs.

This looks like a good place to upload your own
technical papers
to expose them to a wider audience.
Yes, you retain all rights to everything posted.

So far, new papers are only posted every few days.
Things thus seem off to a slow start at best,

And it is not obvious what will prevent outright
sales spiels and incompetent pseudoscience junk from
eventually causing problems.

It also seems fairly trivial to spoof your own ratings.

Worse, their signup process is beyond inane. It took
me fifteen tries to register. Their stock icons are even
worse, and the icon you pick is not the icon you get. And
then when I uploaded a paper, all it produced was a blank
screen.

But the most crucial question involves their banner:
Why is the girl rabbit farting on the boy rabbits?

June 20, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I've long been fascinated by early Arizona historical
engineering. Especially the Mount Graham Aerial
Tramway
that is in my front yard.

Another incredible (and ongoing) Arizona engineering
saga involves the Fossil Creek Hydro Plants.

Turns out there was this large spring to the north of
the most remote part of Arizona's Bloody Basin desert.
The spring was thousands of feet above the Verde River.
A small dam was built, followed by two power plants.

After the first Irving power plant, a flume and an inverted
siphon routed the water down and then back up to a fairly
large lake. Penstocks from the lake then went through the
second Childs plant.

Incredible hardship was involved in the early 1900's
construction. The plants provided all of Central Arizona
power and much of the Phoenix power for many decades.

Total power production was something like 4 peak
megawatts. Or around one percent of one unit of a modern
facility.
The two plants are now being decomm&Issioned
and full flow has been returned to Fossil Creek along with
a major and ongoing environmental restoration.

Chances are the plants became too hard to staff and may
have needed major repairs. Besides being a trivial source.

While everybody is praising the environmental restoration,
several questions remain. Like how much of what of the
plants will be historically preserved? And what are the
consequences of destroying a beautiful century old lake?

Excellent swimming in Fossil Creek, by the way. Even
with the old reduced flow.

A good summary appears here.

June 19, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

One of the more obscure Arizona Auction
resources: Dovebid has recurring auctions
where the merch is in many different cities.

Phoenix often occurs.

The only way I have found to see what is
available where is to reach down into their
actual auction inventory pages and search by
location
.

June 18, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

One of the realities of local auctions is that
the same bad actors keep competing against
you.
Some of whom will not be outbid at any
price.

Here are some defenses...

     HIT 'EM WHERE THEY AIN'T - Dig
     down really deep to find obscure auctions
     where they are unlikely to attend.  Best
     are auctions where your items of interest
     are only a tiny fraction of the total.

     KEEP A LOW PROFILE - Do not let
     them recognize you as a competitor or as
     a threat. Be totally invisible except when
     actually bidding. Always listen. Speak rarely.
     Never gloat or brag.

    RECOGNIZE HIDDEN VALUE - Spend
    extra time previewing and evaluating lots.
    Using your expertise as personal value
    added. Secret marks ( such as a thumbtack
    on a pallet rail ) may prove useful.

   IGNORE THEM - Set your max price
   ahead of time and absolutely stick with it.

   BE NICE - Be generous with useless info
   such as upcoming auctions you will not be
   attending. Or which auctioneer just did what
   to whom.

  NO P&IssING CONTESTS - Never bid further
  than one increment above your absolute max
  solely to cause them grief.

   PLAY THE ODDS - You only need hit big time
   on one auction out of twenty or so. If more
   than five percent of your bids are accepted,
   you are paying too much.

   BE PATIENT! - The bad guys may leave early
   or run out of money or use up their haul space.

More tutorials can be found here.

June 17, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

A syndication scheme that makes your articles
and stories ( with suitable commercial back
links ) readily available to other websites might
prove quite useful for web promotion.

And to get your ideas exposed to the widest
possible audience.

However, I feel that this example has a grievous
flaw: Virtually all of the decent higher quality
tech info is in PDF format. This site not only
is limited to the HTML losers, but it also places
severe restrictions on what HTML gets used
in what manner.

June 16, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

A tutorial on Fundamental Factors Driving
Recent Technical Innovation
appears here.

June 15, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

It is interesting to watch the surplus and auction
scene
evolve over the years. A crucial task is to
continually ask where things are going, rather
than where they have been
.

Initially, surplus community college test equipment
was the biggie for me. Much of this is long gone
and what little remains often is highly competitive.
Demand for heavier and older un-networked or
un-computerized test equipment has plummeted .

Mil surplus was next on my list. The latest gyration
of who sells government surplus how has left both
Arizona and New Mexico literally high and dry.

While expanding outstanding opportunities for
folks near Northern Florida or Central Pennsylvania.

Although Cunningham remains a superb source for
industrial auctions, they have scaled waaay back in
this area. And are now focused more on real estate.

Government Liquidation now seems totally useless. At
least around here, and Public Surplus still seems to be
lacking the faintest clue.

A newly emerging source of useful items are from
insider aerospace surplus auctions. These are quite hard
to even find out about, let alone actively participate in.
One problem is mountains of outrageously heavy and
bulky dregs you have to buy to get at the goodies.

One of our best buys ever was picking up an
electronic distributor's inventory that had gone
belly up. I would dearly love to find more of these.
Particularly since fulfillment is incredibly simpler
than on heavier or one-off items.

Non obvious sources that have proven useful to
me include copper mine and public utility auctions.

One of the better remaining opportunities remains
distress and bankruptcy sales. Especially when
"contents of cabinet" and "contents of room"
opportunities abound. These seem to be scarce
lately, but I expect them to rebound shortly.

Much more on our Auction Help library page.

Tested and proven sources appear here and your
own custom local or regional source finder can
be made for you per these details.

June 14, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

At one time, I was really big on Book-on-Demand
publishing. But I feel the window has long slammed
shut on BOD as an opportunity.

Caused by too-many-fingers-in-the-pie cost margins,
the utter and total inability to reliably and cheaply
solve the automated binding problem, and, of course,
the ongoing DRM ludicrousity.

The latest BOD machine to go into a public library
screams to me "fiasco". Sorry, but I find this
picture hilarious. In which both the downtime and
the ultimate cost per book will prove outrageous.

Hint: If you were writing a science fiction horror
story about a machine that ate librarians for lunch,
what would it look like?

As I've mentioned a time or two before, I believe
most people will be astounded over the upcoming
sudden and total demise of books
. Brought about
by an effective eBook reader or a useful substitute,
by DRM being laughed out of existence, and in
no small part by a student revolt against backpacks.

June 13, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

What is your best live auction bid strategy?

Certainly for eBay, your best rule is to
proxy bid your max ONCE very late in the
auction
.

And this is surely a good strategy at a live
auction on some pricey and competitive
item that you really want. And not telegraphing
your interest till the second "going" of "going
going gone."


But I still prefer to generally use a lowball
bottom feeding strategy
. In which I will
usually open at $5 or, if allowed $2.50.

Being in the auctioneer's face makes them
much more likely to accept your bid rather
than someone else's. And they may start
looking to you for momentum.

It is important to be subtle with your bottom
feeder bids. Giving the hidden message to
the auctioneer "Here is a lowball bid if and
when you chose to accept it"
.

Rather than a flag waving "TWO AND A HALF!"

June 12, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

There seems to be a maddeningly infuriating
eBay listing bug: If you do a sell similar item
and then try to change the category, all of
your previous descriptive info may be lost!

Here is a bizarre workaround that seems to
be working for me: Do your sell similar.
Then switch to HTML view. Then add a few
spaces or carriage returns.

You can now apparently change your category
without trashing the listing contents.

Be sure to delete the old listing before adding
a new one, or you will get double charged. Plus
having the bug reappear when you try to get
rid of the original.

June 11, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Would you believe that a Hong Kong porno site
is stealing my images of orange soda bottle caps?

I've temporarily put the image on hold. This
will cause a minor and temporary glitch in one of
our eBay listings.

Once again, directly linked stolen images are a
theft of intellectual property and gobble up quite
valuable ISP bandwidth. They also create problems
with your log files.

If you are going to steal stuff, at least copy it to
a site you have control of
. Otherwise, the source
will get back at you one way or another.

June 10, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I might be interested in putting on some
custom seminars sometime in the next few
weeks, preferably at Black Range Lodge.

Topics might include An intro to Magic Sinewaves,
eBay selling secrets, eBay, buying secrets, insider
live auction access
, or a workshop on eBay post-proc
photo improvement
.

Costs could end up quite reasonable. Please email
me
if you have any interest in these or similar
topics.

June 9, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

A next obvious Magic Sinewave area for
investigation should be to find non-filter
methods of suppressing the lower uncontrolled
harmonics.


It might be possible to phase modulate the
incoming reference clock ( such as with a
25th harmonic ) to cancel the uncontrolled.

Fourier terms tend to ignore cross products
between harmonics. And between sines and
cosines as well.

More on this whenever.

June 8, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Split out most of our earlier 2007 What's
New entries into a new 2007A Archive.

June 7, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Reworked, dramatically shortened, and
improved our new Ultra Fast Magic Sinewave
Calculators
.

Demo code can be viewed by using the above
link and "view source" on your browser.

Extensions of Delta Friendly Magic Sinewaves
to higher orders is also now greatly simplified.

More here, here, and here.

June 6, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Concern over weight loss or cardio &Issues
can often be effectively dealt with using this
resource
. Or this one.

My own take on all this appears here.

June 5, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Well, maybe un-Oops. Apparently the older
DIN 43 653 European fuses have quite a
respectable salvage silver value.

Besides, they apparently make superb knife
sharpeners!
Using the ceramic case as a
whetstone.

I'll have some of these up on eBay shortly.
They should also be interest to insulator and
odd electrical equipment collectors.

June 4, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Updated our Arizona Auction Resources
directory.

Apparently Walt Terne of Southwest
Liquidators
is retiring and dropping coverage
of the Pima College auctions. Walt's auctions
were unique in that Walt as ringman ran the
show as a master of ceremonies, while the
auctioneer was basically hired help.

Oscar Jamirillo will be taking over the Pima
College auctions. In addition to his coverage
of the U/A and ASU surplus auctions.

More on the auction scene here. Your own
custom regional auction finder can be created
for you per these guidelines.

June 3, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Oops department. I love to take things apart
just to see how they work. If you try this
with DIN 43 653 European fuses, the blown
fuse indicator will self destruct
.

As does the fuse.

June 2, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Just got back from a local PD auction. They
apparently switched auctioneers from Sierra
back to Dickerson.

A good rule at a PD auction is to never bid on
a white vehicle!


The auction drove home how important it is to
stay tightly focused on your items of interest,
while ignoring everything else.

And of setting your max prices ahead of time
and never exceeding them.

When there are bunches of nearly identical pallets
only a few of which are useful, you must make some
effort to identify which is which ahead of time.


If there is a printed catalog, marking your "must
have" lots in one color and your "possibles" in
a second can be useful. Memorizing exact relative
positions of desired pallets can also help. As can
walking through the auction at least a dozen times
before the actual bidding
.

I've found "secret markings" to be useful. In which
I'll draw a cross or a star on certain boxes on certain
pallets. Or actually add a small colored sticker or a
colored pushpin. Naturally, you only do this subtly
and only on external packages that add no value to
their contents.

Or push the pushpin into the skid itself.

It pays to stay several lots ahead of the auctioneer.
So that you always end up in the middle of the action
on any lot you really are interested in. But always make
absolutely sure the item being offered is the one you
think you are bidding on!


Another thing to avoid is the shadow effect. In which you
are so excited about winning lot #753 that superb buys on
lesser lots #754 and #756 go flying right on by.

Your own custom regional auction finder can be
built for you per these details.

Much more in our Auction Help library.

June 1, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

What might seem to be a major alternate energy
breakthrough to some could well appear as a major
and useless ripoff of government funds to others.

History seems to be repeating itself with a "new"
scheme to convert waste heat to electricity.

By a roundabout method of first converting the
heat to sound and then the sound to electricity
via piezo techniques.

Slashdot has a lively discussion of the latest
version
of this scheme.

I looked at this long ago here, here, and here.

Some of the significant "gotchas" that I see
in all this are...

      CARNOT - The efficiencies of very low
      temperature heat engines are severely
      limited by the ratios of the absolute
      temperatures.

      DELTA-T - Confusion between absolute
      heat energy and working through a temp
      differential creates what those French
      veterinarians call a "four paw". And
      utterly trashes any credibility.

      THERMAL IMPEDANCE - It is very
       difficult to get thermal gradients under
       0.5 deg C per watt. These losses can
      dramatically reduce efficiency or eliminate
      it entirely. Ferinstance, it is trivially easy
      to have the exit heatsink rise above ambient
      exceed the net cooling of a Peltier device.

      CASCADED INEFFICIENCIES - Doing
     "A" then "B" then "C" instead going from
     "A" to "C" directly will multiply all of the
      inefficiencies of each step, leaving you with
      very poor performance. A nanostructured
      thermopile is almost certainly a more sane
      route to low temperature energy recovery

      SOUND IS "MUSHY" - Performance of
      most any compressed air system is limited
      by its generation and use efficiencies. As
      guaranteed by thermodynamic fundamentals
      involving reversibility.

      PIEZO LIMITS - Piezo devices are difficult
      to couple energy into, respond only to input
      changes, and have a self-destruct Curie Point
      in the hot water range. Placing them anywhere
      near high temperatures is fundamentally insane.

      GENERATOR IMPEDANCE - Worse yet,
      piezo devices are "E-Field Machines" which
      are very high impedance devices that are totally
      unsuited to efficient electrical generation. Their
      high voltage, low current output requires further
      conversion to have an use at all.

      AMORTIZATION - Inefficient energy recovery
      from low delta-T sources is likely to have very
      little value and thus will be extremely difficult
      to amortize. A fully burdened net energy recovery
      payback time beyond infinity can be expected.

      IF THE RIGHT ONE DON'T GET YA--
     
The left one will. Any one of these system
      limitations is severe. Taken together, they
      likely will prove insurmountable,

More in our Energy Fundamentals tutorial.

May 31, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

As we have seen, the entire conventional
silicon photovoltaic industry is based upon
the outright lie that pv to date is in some
manner renewable or sustainable.

Not one net watthour of conventional silicon
pv energy has ever been produced.
Nor is
any ever likely. True fully burdened net energy
breakeven will likely be based on alternate
new developments.

Perhaps those involving CIGS or Quantum Dots.
About which there is presently both good news
and bad news.

So far, the preproduction CIGS runs are showing
low yields and low efficiency.
I'd consider this
to be normal and expected on any major new
industrial process development or scaleup. But
slipped delivery dates would appear the norm.

On the other hand, there is a magical four legged
key to new pv panel production called a quantum
tetrapod
. For which there are new developments.

May 30, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Our new Ultra Fast Magic Sinewave
Calculators
are now pretty much fully
populated with fifteen best efficiency, four
delta friendly, and fourteen bridged best
efficiency
solutions.

These are blindingly fast and presently go
up to 15 pulses per quadrant.

Some new possibilities are also emerging.
It appears there may be additional delta
friendly
solutions possible based on 4n
in addition to the present 3 + 4n solutions.
These may end up slightly quirky.

There's also the possibility of spreading
the spectrum of the carrier
. If it works,
this could provide near in carrier suppression
possibly as high as ten decibels. For eased
and simplified filtering.

Ferinstance, you might have two pulses in the
60 to 90 region driven by a 24x carrier, three
pulses in the 30 to 60 region derived from a 36x
carrier, and four pulses in the 0 to 30 region
derived from a 48x carrier.

IF this works, the uncontrolled harmonics near
24x should end up lower, especially for very
high amplitudes.

Another obvious project is extending the new
calculators to 24 pulses per quadrant and beyond.
The present math appears useful to one thousand
low harmonics zeroed out
and possibly double that!

More on our Magic Sinewave library page.
Or start here for a tutorial.

May 29, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Sometimes minor improvements in a
product combined with dramatic price
drops can open up whole new markets.

I was particularly impressed by the six
inch calipers being sold by Wholesale
Tool
and others. These China imports
have a LCD screen on them that reads
in millimeters, inches, or FRACTIONS!

The fractions readout is super convenient
but would be even better if you could round
off
to sixteenths or thirty-seconds.

They also auto-turn on if you move them
and have a memory hold feature. They
measure outside, inside, or depth and
cost around $24.95 plus shipping.

May 28, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Which of these companies are likely to
survive?

   COMPANY "A" -- You need a twelve
    dollar part. You order it via VISA or
    Paypal via their shopping cart web page,
    and receive it the next day.

   COMPANY "B" -- You need a twelve
    dollar part. They insist on payment by
    money order, never answer their phone,
    and hassle you over shipping details.

   COMPANY "C" -- Ignores all emails and
   has confusing website. Refuses to divulge
   pricing, but sends you to a dealer that involves
   several hours of telephone tag and then
   only has a competitor's part in stock at a
   distant warehouse. All done, of course, with
   a very steep minimum order.

May 27, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Picked up some interesting pumps and such
and thought I'd give you a heads up just in
case you want to get in ahead of the hoarders.

Best of the lot is a Varian 600DS dry scrolling
vacuum pump
, a $8900 list item with around 3400
hours on it. We are replacing an output filter and
valve, but expect it to be working just fine when
we do. If not, these are reasonably rebuilt with details
fully available on the web.

Numero dos is an absolutely superb Baldor extreme
duty motor,
10 horsepower, flange mount, chemical
plant rated, premium efficiency. We have this up on
eBay.

The third item is kind of out on consignment, but we
think we can get it back. It is a Copeland semi-hermetic
compressor
in the 7 to 10 horsepower class and intended
for walkin cooler service with R22 refrigerant. This beast
appears to be brand new. At 325 pounds or so, it is
presently mounted on its own mini-skid.

Items four and five are two identical Burke pumps, 2HP,
220 or 440 volt THREE PHASE, cast iron
. They differ
from your usual centrifugal pump in that the inlet is four
inches square and below the pump. Making them ideal
for floating platform uses. These appear to be new but
have been in outside storage for a long time and someone
apparently gave them a baby blue Sherwin Williams
overhaul.

email me if you have any interest in these unique items.

May 26, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Refurb Log:

We try to accurately describe the many miniature
and subminiature switches we have up on eBay at
bargain prices. But we are getting enough questions
that a review seems in order.

A miniature switch body typically measures 3/8 of an
inch square by half an inch long. A subminiature
switch is proportionately smaller, often 1/8 x 1/4 x 5/16.
Our regular switches are considerably larger.

Switches are classified by their contact arrangement.
If there are only two terminals, the switch is often either
SPST NO or SPST NC, meaning single pole, normally
open
or normally closed.

If there are three terminals, you have a SPDT switch
as in single pole double throw. Wider switches can be
DPST or DPDT for two pole sets, 3PDT, for three poles,
4PDT for four pole sets, or even more.

An alternate "industrial notation" might be form 1A for
SPST normally open, form 1B for SPST normally closed
and form 1C for SPDT.

Some toggle switches will have three mechanical
positions. The center position is often "off". For
instance, a SPDT center off switch may be marked
on - off - on.

Switch positions may be sustained or momentary.
Another name for a momentary switch position is
a spring return. These are often shown in parenthesis.
Ferinstance, an on - off - (on) SPDT switch would be
center off, sustained in one end position and momentary
in the other.

Switches are normally intended for either panel mounting
or printed circuit mounting. Some may offer both. A typical
panel nut size for a miniature or subminiature switch has
1/4-40 threads. We will usually include at least one nut
with a switch that can be panel mounted.

There are two "flavors" of contacts in smaller switches.
High current contacts are typically rated 3 or 5 amps at
110 volts ac. Dry Switching contacts are typically rated
at 0.4 va or "logic levels" . Dry switching contacts are more
reliable when zero or very low currents are involved.
Especially when rarely activated.

My Pathfinder gives a good example of when you want
a logic level switch. You have to blow the horn before you
can turn the cruise control on
.

Some switches may have unusual contact patterns or
progressive actions. We try to accurately describe these.
One variation is called an alternate action switch, which
works sort of like a ball point pen. These are rare
and often quite expensive.

Besides their quantity listings on eBay, we also offer
cabinet assortments of both miniature and regular switches.
These can be outstanding bargains as all are new and
mainstream devices.

May 25, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Refurb Log:

Had a client ask me to find a source of four wire
conventional telephone phone plugs and jacks.
Typical plugs are normally two or three terminals,
so this was a new one on me.

Turns out there is a military connector that looks
sort of like a somewhat shortened phone plug
that does in fact have four connections.

This is called an Aviation Plug type U-174/U and is
used widely on military aircraft as well as in most
civil helicopters. Intended purpose is for a combined
headphone, microphone, and push to talk switch.

These are somewhat pricey but readily available at
most any aircraft supply house. Such as this one
or this one or this one or this one.

May 24, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Just found out that virtually all of the New
Mexico subastas are going to be sold at auction!

Buying and selling to New Mexico can present
problems. Besides the language barrier and all of
the hassles at customs, the truck tires have a
different size and spacing, so everything needs
reloaded
at the border crossings.

May 23, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Refurb Log:

Sometimes outrageously expensive surplus
items will have only the simplest things wrong
with them.

More often than not, the easily refurbable jobs
are caused by somebody making a really stupid
mistake.
And then covering their ass by declaring
the item "unrepairable".

In one case, a bridge rectifier that may or may
not have been bad got replaced 180 degrees out
of position
. Thus making the positive supplies
negative and vice versa. And making the diagnosis
of the newly created problem enormously difficult.

In another, a $3 exhaust noise filter was placed on a
$9000 precision vacuum pump. When it blocked,
it created the exact same symptoms as needing
a pricey and complex overhaul.


A key fifty cent guide part was also lost somewhere
along the way. Probably because it blew across the
room
when the noise filter was removed under power.

What similar stories have you seen? Please email
me with your tales along these lines.

May 22, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Updated and expanded our GuruGram #73
on our Ultra Fast Magic Sinewave Calculators.

Sourcecode can be found here, while Other
GuruGrams appear here.

May 21, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Apparently the link for the CIA World Factbook
on our home page is out of date, so use this
one
instead. I'll get it updated eventually.

This site is a fascinating geography resource.

Check out Kingman Reef for your next mountain
climbing expedition.

May 20, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Considerably fancified our ultra fast magic
sinewave calculators
. Which are approaching
a final form. A few more options have yet to
be added.

Speeds are astoundingly fast. Most results
are instant, with n = 60 pulses per cycle taking
just over a second on some slower machines.
Compared to many hours on the earlier
calculators.


Your checking of my underlying math and the
JavaScript programming involved is more than
welcome. Please email me with any &Issues.

May 19, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

One of the realities of small scale product
development
is that, any time you have reached
a given level, "they" will loudly moan that you
haven't done "x". Get up to "x" and they will then
demand "y". In a never ending upward spiral.

Good theory? Where's the development tools?
Good tools, where's the chips? Good chips, where's
the baseline hardware demos? Good demos, where's
the pre-production prototypes? Good firmware, where
is the proven market and sales? And on and on...

No matter how far along the idea mortality curve
you are, the bitchers and moaners will continue
to bitch and moan. And scams, ripoffs, and obvious
violators of fundamental physical laws will get
more attention and better funding.

Meanwhile, of course, your own ideas get stolen.

Four defenses:

      IGNORE "THEM" -- Because "they" are
      not going to buy from you anyway. And only
      rarely, if ever, will they identify a real &Issue.
     Chances are "they" never tried developing
     anything themselves and do not have the
     faintest clue over the realities involved.

     SELL RISK REDUCTION -- "Invention" and
     "inventing" are rife with peril. But genuinely
     being able to dramatically reduce a firm's time
     to market and NRE expenses are another matter
     entirely. Some guidelines appear here.


     YOUR TRACK RECORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.
     If you have had winners in the past, others will
     surely follow. Some better. Some worse. But never
     give up. The winners will pay for those that m&Iss
     ever seeing the light of day.

     THE JOURNEY IS THE REWARD. It does not
     matter in the least if you are developing an
     amplifier with nothing to amplify. If you want to do
     it, go for it. Nothing else matters.

May 18, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Finally got the Delta Friendly portion of our
new ultra fast magic sinewave calculators
working. A derivation of the incredibly subtle
delta equation math is included in the calculator.

Next steps are getting the ( fairly trivial )
bridged Magic Sinewave versions added to the
calculator.

Extensions to higher "n" are next on the list. I am
particularly curious what properties a magic
sinewave zeroing 1000 or even 2000 low harmonics
may uniquely offer. Even with our new superspeed
algorithms, extreme "n" calculations may take hours.

An executive guide to the energy efficiency breakthrough
that Magic Sinewaves are capable of appears here, a
slideshow style intro here, and special treatment of the
three phase compatible Delta Friendly magic sinewaves
here. An older development proposal appears here.

Much of our older info in our Magic Sinewave library
is pretty much obsolete except for its IP historical
time line. I'll probably split the library in half shortly,
with only the newest and latest stuff in a new version,
and the archival backup info in the old one.

email me if you wish to participate in this mind boggling
new energy efficiency breakthrough.

May 17, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

The latest exoplanet of the week comes with its
own ocean. And strongly suggests that ocean
planets are likely to be quite common.

May 16, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

One of the ruder surprises of engineering product
development is that it is the little stuff that gets you
every time
. Many of the switches we have been
selling on eBay arrived without mounting nuts. You
would think it might be trivial to find a pile of 1/4-40
nuts someplace.

Not so.

Most manufacturers either outright refuse to
answer any email or quote prices insanely beyond
outrageous. One could not find the tooling and
thought they may have thrown it away. And the
leading distributor refuses to discount under twenty
cents each regardless of quantity.

This product directory rapidly leads to hours of lost
time . The "almost" identical 1/4-36 and metric 6-0.6
nuts are readily available, but, of course, will not fit
without stripping.

Best odds so far in this ongoing saga: A hobbyist has
promised to send me some free ones. A bizarre
supplier in Montana has the right item at the right
price, but combined with cunieform-on-clay-tablet order
policies
and an always unanswered phone with an
overflowed voicemail. And a Taiwan firm has exactly
what I need but does not even have a U.S. representative.

Meanwhile, we are robbing Peter to pay Paul and making
sure all switches shipped do in fact include at least one
mounting nut.

Update: Out of eighteen pricing requests so far, the
total useful results are .... ZERO!

May 15, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

We've pretty much decided to phase out
the remainder of our professional medical
books
and environmental titles. They are
selling rather slowly and the new postal
rates make any book venture difficult.

These were from the Luke Air Force medical
library and are typically one or two editions
out of date. Several hundred of the assorted
titles remain. Almost all are fully professional
"doctor level" texts. Most are in excellent
condition.

These are perfect for any new MD who needs
to fill the blank wall behind their desk with
some really impressive book titles.

Please email me if you have any interest in
acquiring the entire library for a ridiculously
low price. Otherwise, it goes onto the Alvin
Pile
in a day or two. Personal inspection and
pickup only. No shipping. FOB Thatcher, AZ.

May 14, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Expanded and improved our It's a gas
Hydrogen Energy library page.

May 13, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Finally got an exact expression worked out
for a 7 pulse per quadrant delta friendly magic
sinewave
. This is crucial for our new ultra high
speed magic sinewave calculators.

Delta friendly magic sinewaves impose some
strict limits. Half of the pulse edges must get
used to force zero triad harmonics. As a result,
only 3/4 of the normal low harmonics can be
zeroed out
. On the other hand, a delta friendly
magic sinewave only needs one half the storage
per amplitude
and calculates considerably faster.

At any rate, it is convenient to make the controllable
edges p4s, p4e, p5s, p6s, p6e, p7s, and p7e. The
other edges must be forced to obey this rule set...

                       p1s = 60 - p5s
                       p1e = p6e - 60
                       p2s = p7s - 60
                       p2e = 60 - p4e
                       p3s = 60 - p4s
                       p3e = p7e - 60
                       p5e = 120 - p6s

Instead of the usual 14 equations in 14 unknowns,
we should be able to come up with only 7 equations
in 7 unknowns instead. Doing so leads to these
stunningly non-obvious equations...

        
    cos (1*(p4s-30))*1.732 -
            cos (1*(p4e-30))*1.732 +
            cos (1*(p5s-30))* 1.732 +
            cos (1*(p6s+30))*1.732 -
            cos (1*(p6e-30))* 1.732 +
            cos (1*(p7s-30))* 1.732 -
            cos (1*(p6e-30))* 1.732 =
                  amplitude * pi/4

Note that the fourth term is different from the others
because it relates a leading and trailing pulse edge.
Also note that 1.732 more precisely is 2*sin(60).

The harmonic equations are similar to the above,
except the "1" gets replaced by the non-triad
harmonic numbers of 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, and 19.
And the output gets divided by the harmonic
number. And that they will all be set to zero
when forcing a zero harmonic.

Also, the overall harmonic signs invert for 5, 7,
17, and 19. Thus the equation for 5h produces
MINUS the actual fifth harmonic.

I'll try to include more derivation detail on these
equations in upcoming versions of our calculator.

The underlying concepts also appear here.

May 12, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

We keep getting inquiries on our water soluble
swimsuits.
Apparently some Google searches
will show an older software demo of ours as current
inventory. I am not sure exactly why.

These are really water soluble hospital disposal
bags
. Dirty and possibly infected linen was simply
stuffed into the bag and the entire bag was placed
in the washer where it d&Issolved.

This was a one time mil surplus buy of ours and we
are long sold out. The company who was listed as
the supplier was MD Systems. They are apparently
also out of business.

Googling on water soluble laundry bags gives lots
of current sources. The polyvinyl alcohol material
is also available in craft stores as Solvy. One
international bag supplier is Yongan SYF.

May 11, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

The "other half" of the web are the Usenet
Newsgroups. I'm surprised that bunches of you
out there still are unaware of this potent resource.

There are many tens of thousands of newsgroups
out there. Whose quality varies all over the lot.
I've found comp.lang.javascript and comp.lang.postscript
to always give prompt and courteous instant
answers. And sci.electronics.design to be noisier
but nearly as useful.

Other groups ( most notably sci.energy.hydrogen )
seem to attract denizens yet to be housebroken.
And who apparently lack the mental skills to ever
become so. Thus, you have to watch the signal to
noise ratio on any group you select.

Newsgroup access does take a special news reader
that is not normally provided with basic web access.
Of the many readers available, my personal choice is
news.individual.net. Whose costs are around nine
dollars per year.

One tip when needing very special technical info:
Simply compose your newsgroup message but do
not send it.
More often than not, thinking about
the message overnight will give you a solution.

May 10, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

As I mentioned a time or two before, if you
ever need to escape or
drop out or depressurize
for a few days, check out the
Black Range Lodge.

Cleverly hidden in the part of New Mexico that
you cannot
get to. In a remote mountain valley just
under the Continental Divide.

Ask Catherine or Pete about the Percha Creek
Salmon Run
. And don't
m&Iss the Kingston Frisbee
Festival
. The latter usually runs from
January 1st to
December 31st in any given year.

I'd be more than happy to sponsor Magic Sinewave,
eBay Marketing, Entrepreneurial Engineering,
PostScript, or similar seminars here,

Please email me if you have any interest.

May 9, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

In yet another recent extrasolar planet
discovery
, the first complete temperature map
has been made.

Weather forecast for tonight is warm and breezy.

BTW, the older term "extrasolar planet" and
the newer "exosolar planet" seem to both be
in current valid use. I'd expect "exosolar" to
eventually win the the linguistics.

May 8, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

There's quite a flap over a crucial HD-DV
password being cracked and placed on a
few million websites. To me, it is utterly
laughable that those who pay no attention
to history inevitably repeat it.


The Apple II+ community absolutely and
permanently proved that copy protection
does not work
. For every individual
dreaming up a protection schemes, there
are a thousand smarter ones just waiting
for the chance to crack it.

Cracking copy protection is both fun and
one of the best ways ever to become
computer literate.
Its appeal is thus totally
universal.

An older example of cracking the uncrackable
was Adobe's 1183615869 internaldict begin.
This ( when combined with eexec ) was
supposed to be an absolutely perfect means
of protecting fonts. While, of course, severely
crippling their use by denying font path access.

And it was absolutely uncrackable, except by
any patient seventh grader. Turns out that
most any PostScript laser printer returned
error messages, so all you had to do to crack
eexec was add a bogus character and view the
results.

Fortunately, this was ancient history. Fully
unlocked ( and infinitely more usable with
path access ) fonts are now routinely available.

Here is how I see the pig bites the apple...

   ANY form of DRM that inconveniences
   end users in ANY manner is doomed.

   It is ABSOLUTELY INEVITABLE that
   the price of delivered songs will drop
   dramatically. Because ANYONE can deliver
   them ridiculously cheaper than before.

   An end user MUST have the ABSOLUTE
   RIGHT to use of a digital jukebox. In
   which ANY music purchased in ANY form
   can be freely distributed in their home or
   car for ANY personal-only use.

   ANY business model that sues their best
   customers and turns them into criminals
   is unlikely to have very much of a future.

   The best strategy for the record companies
    is to say "Well, it was fun while it lasted",
    have one hell of a party, and then sell all
    assets at a yard sale or on
eBay.

May 7, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I am still looking for a 2003 or 2004 Toyota
4Runner
and will still pay a finders fee for same.

Must be 4WD and tow package. Prefer private
party, under 50K mileage, light color, V6, within
200 miles of Thatcher, and XM or Sirus radio.

May 6, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Just had someone remind me of a sneaky
trick to remove any impossibly stuck screws.

Most electric drills are reversible these days.
If you use a left handed drill bit, chances are
the screw will pop right out with the vibration.

If not, you have a hole ready for a screw
extractor. Both the left handed bits and the
extractors are available from McMaster-Carr.

May 5, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

A curious observation: Now that gasoline
prices are so high, a lot more people are
leaving their engines idle at the post office
.

May 4, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

It was bound to happen sooner or later, but
I am still astounded: My favorite rejoinder
comment, newsgroup or otherwise, over any
unusual or arcane term or word group is to ask
"Didn't their album just go platinum?".

Works every time.

I was using one of my preferred "epsilon minus"
terms for someone doing something less than
stunningly bright, and somebody else came back
at me with "Their album just went platinum".

Uh, check out this link. (!)

Next thing you'll know, their drummer will be
named "Huxley" and die in a bizarre gardening
accident.

Brave new world. Lots of knobs now go to "11".

May 3, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

A second web alternative to the uShip service
we already looked at is Any Freight.

Both offer competitive quotes for shipping
heavier or bulkier items than UPS or FedEx
can handle.

May 2, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Here's yet another superb article debunking
the utter myth of the hydrogen economy.

Arguments against the ludicrous "hydrogen
economy" are summarized here, while a tutorial
review of energy fundamentals is found here.

May 1, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Penn State apparently moved their superb
reprint of the 1915 Pittsburgh Street and
Trolly Directory
that we looked at a time or
two in the past.

The relocated copy can now be found here.

April 30, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

"Draw a picture of it" can be an incredibly
powerful analysis tool that can give you all
sorts of insight into subtle relationships. And,
of course, is super easy with PostScript.

Let's look at an extremely serendipitious
example that popped out of the woodwork last
night. In analyzing the equations for a Delta
Friendly Magic Sinewave
, terms similar to

         z = 0.866*sin(y) + 1.5*cos(y)

start cropping up. There's a need to solve this
for y and the question immediately comes up
whether any trig identities can simplify things
for us first. And the obvious next question is
which trig identity used how?

Instead, if you simply plot z for y over its intended
range of 0 to 90 degrees, we immediately see a
phase shifted sinewave pop out. And a minor
amount of attempted visual curve fitting quickly
tells us that this gives us an exact fit...

    z = 1.732* sin (y + 60) = 1.732*cos (y - 30)

Per this code and this plot. Which is trivially solved
for y.

And the extreme magnification capability of a PDF file
combined with a PostScript 0 setlinewidth clearly shows
the relationship is exact and not an approximation.

April 29, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Apparently they arrested Rodney King again.
He has been charged with impersonating a pinata.

April 28, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

One of the things an auctioneer hates to
talk about and rarely mentions goes by the
historic name of rights of abandonment.

Specifically, can you bid on something at
an auction, take home one or two of the
goodies and simply walk away from great
heaping piles of poisioned dregs?

There's no universal and clear cut answer
to this question. But here are some factors
to consider...

   GIVEAWAYS - Chances are there will
   be others bidding who have already won
   enormous lots and you can simply give
   your unwanted items to them. AFTER,
   of course a VERY careful triage.

  LEFTOVERS - Auctioneers often haul
  anything of even questionable value that
  remains home for their monthly barn sales.

  BIG CLEANUP ANYWAY - Some sites will
  require major cleanup for a new leasee. If
  your trash is only a minor fraction, it may go
  unnoticed.

  UN-HIGHGRADING - Sometimes the worst
  of the worst of your items can mysteriously
  end up on adjacent pallets. But only AFTER
  the auction is over.

   WATCH YOUR TERMS - Auctions where
   "winner must take all" terms are specifically
   stated can be bad news. Especially if anything
   is in writing.

   WHICH AUCTIONEER? -- P&Issing off a fly-in
    auctioneer you probably will never see again
    is not nearly as bad a scene as causing problems
    for a regular you depend on for repeat income.

   WATCH THOSE DUMPSTERS! -- They are
    private property and may be clearly marked
    that you cannot use them. But you might get
    away with a small fraction of a load spread once
    over several non-obvious locations.

   KNOW WHERE THE DUMP IS -- Tipping
   charges on dumps and landfills can be as low as
   $8 per load or so. Know where these services
   are and their hours.

   PAY OFF THE HELP -- Chances are there are
   some minimum wage workers for the auctioneer
   or the site whom $20 and "make it go away" will
   work miracles.

  TAKE ALL YOU CAN -- If there is room in your
  truck or trailer or whatever, fill it as full as you can.
  Unexpected value can sometimes be found in even
  the worst of dregs.

   WATCH LOT MARKINGS - If the lots are not
   clearly and plainly marked, it can be difficult later
   
on to find out who abandoned what.

   CONSIDER STORAGE RENTALS -- Storage
   units can cost as little as $50 pre month and may
   give you the opportunity to more carefully review
   any dregs. Or use multiple trips in smaller vehicles.

   BUY THE DREGS -- Sometimes you can turn this
   all around and buy what others have abandoned
   for a pittance. IF you know what you are doing,
   IF you have the truck or trailer room, and IF you
   have the time and help to profit from same.

  Much more on our Auction Help library page.

April 27, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Lots of recent exciting developments in the
search for exosolar planets. The latest count
is 233, presently upping once per week. You
can expect a one-per-day or better discovery
rate sometime around year's end.

The latest finding is the closest to an Earth-like
and potentially habitable ever. And some brand
new tools
have been discovered that promise a
1000:1 or higher increase in search sensitivity.

At present, of course, earth-like extrasolar
planet discoveries are limited by primitive
( although mind-bendingly sophisticated ) tools.

A case can be made that today's SETI searches
are comparable to mountain climbing blindfolded
while wearing water wings, boxing gloves, and
roller skates.

Plus a foot thick layer of teflon grease.

Odds are there are zillions upon zillions of
candidate planets out there
. But the tricky
combination of an earth and a climate stabilizing
moon may turn out to be very rare indeed.

Meanwhile, our goodwill absassadors to outer
space ( Captain Video, Roller Derby, and Kukla,
Fran & Ollie ) have now swept out nearly one
million cubic light years
of extraterrestral space.

Which is just backing up for a good start.

April 26, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

There is what I'd call a threshold effect to most
any tech innovation. Before the threshold is
crossed, things are outrageously expensive and
largely useless. After the threshold is crossed,
they are super cheap and everybody has one.

With hindsight, these thresholds become
blindingly obvious. The trick is to determine
which thresholds are reasonably about to be
crossed within a reasonable time span.

Thresholds usually involve a new tech development
followed by a rapid learning curve. We saw some
of this long ago in PARADIGM.PDF

An obvious older example was the helical scan
recording
combined with a cartridge that utterly
revolutionized video recording.

Cell phones and digital cameras have obviously
crossed the threshold a year or two back. Present
thresholds being crossed are the large HDTV flat
panel displays and white LED lighting as routine
replacements for fluorescents and incandescent
room lights.

To me, two of the next thresholds to be crossed
are utterly obvious. The first of these will be the
sudden, utter, and total demise of books. And the
second will be cost effective and ubiquitous net
energy photovoltaic solar panels
.

As we have already seen, not one net watthour of
conventional silicon pv electrical energy has ever
been produced
. And none is ever likely due to the
utter intractability of conventional silicon.

Subsidies paying people to put gasoline destroying
net energy sinks on their roofs are nothing but a
monumentally stupid way to set back pv solar
net energy by many decades.

The winners to bet on here are likely to be two
new technologies involving CIGS Solar and
Quantum Dots

Other soon crossable thresholds? Full width inkjet
printers
with incredible speeds. Cost effective
Santa Claus Machine 3-D rapid prototypers. And
ethanol from Bagasse or Switchgrass. But certainly
never from corn.

More product development concepts in our Blatant
Opportunist
, GuruGram, Hydrogen Energy, and
Tech Musings libraries.

Fundamental factors underlying technical innovation
are analyzed here.

Plus a genuine and authentic new energy efficiency
breakthrough here.

April 25, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I've got the shell for our latest Magic Sinewave
calculators up here as a demo. Its internal
structure is largely "n independent" and thus
should greatly simplify adding newer types and
sizes of magic sinewaves.

Besides being insanely faster than the earlier
versions. Keep checking back as additional
items are populated to this calculator.

April 24, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Learning JavaScript can be maddeningly infuriating.
Here's a few of the rude surprises that have been
causing me grief recently...

    RADIANS NOT DEGREES -- All trig math
    is in radians. degrees = radians*180/pi. And
    radians = degrees*pi/180.

    LOCAL VARIABLES -- Unless predefined
    earlier using the var directive, variables apply
    only inside their own functions!

     FLOATING ROUNDOFFS -- Unwanted changes
     to very small numbers and occasional 2+2 =
     3.99999999
unrounded results need special function
     corrections.

     ALTERNATE [xxx] NOTATION-- Values
     and functions that are created on the fly are
     difficult using form.fa00.value notation. There
     is an alternate and much more useful array
     method that involves form["fa00"]["value"].

    NUMBERS TO NAMES - Uses the sneaky
    convention of adding anything to a string still
    gives you a string. If jj=6 then a "fa" + jj gives
    you "fa06". A null string gives you a direct
    numeric to text conversion.

    TRICKY 2D ARRAYS-- These must be
    carefully predefined. Otherwise they blow up
    after a few terms are added.

    FORM REFERENCING-- Each form must
    be carefully named and then identified by
    globally defining something that is similar to
    var form = window.document.MScalc.

   Math.pow is NOT Math.exp! -- Math.pow is
   similar to PostScript's exp which raises a number
  to a power. Math.exp instead raises e=2.718 to
   a power.

   SNEAKY STUFF IS CUTE BUT TRICKY --
   Such as += which adds a new value to a variable.
   Or -= which subtracts it.

  "THIS" SELF-REFERENCING -- gets very
   confusing at times and generates errors when
   wrongly used. These can be very difficult to
   correct.

   SELECT CASE ROUTING-- Using named
   values rather than numeric positioning to
   simplify adding features requires use of the
   obscure .selectedindex combined with the
   double == sign comparison.

April 23, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Much as it pains me to pass up free money,
a repeat warning of the eBay Dutch Auction trap
seems appropriate here...

       NEVER bid on all "n" Dutch items!

If you bid on all "n" quantity of a Dutch Auction
on eBay, your proxy bid IMMEDIATELY jumps
to your MAXIMUM bid price!

Ferinstance, suppose you are the only bidder on a
ten item Dutch auction opening at one dollar. If
you bid two dollars to be sure of winning on 9 items,
you'll win nine items at a dollar each.

If you bid two dollars on all 10 items, you'll still win the
first nine items at a dollar each. But the tenth item
will cost you ELEVEN DOLLARS!

An eBay buyer's tutorial appears here, a seller's
tutorial here, and great heaping bunches of other
resources here.

In most of our Dutch auctions, the quantity ( often 5 )
Is set by an eBay listing price break. Chances are
we have bunches more in stock, so email me.

April 22, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I'm attempting a major new approach to our
Magic Sinewave calculators that make use of new
and ultra-fast techniques.

Here are some of the guidelines behind the new
code versions...

    "N" INDEPENDENT CODE -- As many of
    the functions are made as independent of the
    pulse-per-quadrant and display box counts as
    possible. This enormously simplifies rewrites
    for different sizes of magic sinewaves.

    NORMALIZATION -- Internal calcs are done
    with JavaScript preferred radian angles and
    Fourier rather than absolute amplitudes. Changes
    to final values are limited to the display only.

    ARRAY TECHNIQUES - A numerically accessed
    Angles[x] and a supporting Harms[x] array eliminates
    keeping track of fancy variable names and display
    positions.

    CODE SPLITTING - The code is now in two halves,
    an "analyze" portion that keeps the display happy
    and an "adjust" portion that provides newer and better
    values. Central to this is "pivoting" on the Angles[x]
    array. Which is the primary link between the two.

    EXTENSIVE LOOPING - Used when and where
    possible to keep the code compact and to encourage
    "n" independence.

   IMPROVED GAUSS-JORDAN - Latest versions of
   the required n x n linear equation solvers are both
   ultra compact and "n" independent. 

   EXPORT AREAS - New cut and paste regions can
   greatly simplify extracting all angles for further use.

I've pretty much gotten the core routines off the ground and
hope to have something uploadable in a few days and a
GuruGram or two in a few weeks.

If you need an advance look at the code, please email me
.

April 21, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Added several new resources to our Auction
Help
pages.

Your own custom auction finder can be created for
you per these details

April 20, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I have just conclusively proven that the execution
time on an infinite loop
is completely independent
of language, hardware, or clock rate.

April 19, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Here's a JavaScript program that solves n x n
linear equations. It is amazingly compact,
offers 64 bit arithmetic, and works for most
any sane value of n.

Here is the main proc...

      function solveGaussJordan() {
         gjNsize = eqns.length ;
         for (var iii = 0; iii <=(gjNsize-1); iii++){
         normaLize ( eqns[iii],iii ) ;
             for (var jjj = iii; jjj <=(gjNsize-2); jjj++) {
             subScaled (eqns[iii],eqns[(jjj+1)],iii)} } ;
         normaLize ( eqns [(gjNsize-1)],(gjNsize-1) ) ;
         jorDanify () } ;

It needs these three support subs...

        
function normaLize (bb,cc) { xx = bb[cc] ;
            for (var ii = 0; ii <= gjNsize; ii++)
                  { bb[ii] = (bb[ii]/xx) } }
;

  
      function subScaled (aa,bb,cc) { xx = bb[cc] ;
            for (var ii = cc; ii <=gjNsize; ii++)
                  { bb[ii] -= aa[ii] *xx } } ;

      
 function jorDanify() {
            for (var i3 = (gjNsize-1); i3 >=1; i3--){
                 zz = eqns[i3][gjNsize] ;
                for (var i4 = (i3-1); i4 >=0 ; i4--)
                    eqns[i4][gjNsize] -= eqns [i4][i3]*zz
                    eqns[i4][i3] = 0 } } } ;

And here is how you would use it...

            
 eq0 = [ 4, 3, -2, 1 , 22 ]
             eq1 = [ 2, 1, -2, 2,  9 ]
             eq2 = [ 1,-1, 1, 5 ,  8 ]
             eq3 = [ 3, 1, 3, 1 , 22 ]

             eqns = [ eq0, eq1, eq2, eq3] ;
             solveGaussJordan () ;

eq0 represents 4w + 3x - 2y + z = 22. There is an
implicit equals sign before the rightmost column.

Reals as well as integers can be used. Processing
time increases sharply with increasing n. No
provisions have been made for div0 errors or
extreme data value spreads.

Returned via Gauss-Jordan elimination is ...

            
 eq0 = [ 1, 0, 0, 0, w ]
             eq1 = [ 0, 1, 0, 0, x ]
             eq2 = [ 0, 0, 1, 0, y ]
             eq3 = [ 0, 0, 0, 1, z ]

   ...and for the above example, w=4, x=3, y=2
and x=1.

This and similar code should be most useful for
such things as Digital Filters or Magic Sinewaves.

I'll try to work a new GuruGram up on this shortly.

April 18, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

While there are lots of newer schemes to deep
link
a blog of expanding content, plain old use of
traditional HTML anchors works just fine.

And is easily done using GoLive, DreamWeaver,
or most anything similar.

Such links are also fairly trivial to hand code in
HTML. Here is your basic anchor...

                    <a name=""04-17-07">  

        ... and your link to a specific anchor

 <a href=""http://www.tinaja.com/whtnu07.shtml#04-19-07">  

One thing I have not resolved yet is how to easily
change the anchors if your blog or news has to be
split up for archiving. Some sort of global search
and replace should be able to handle this, done either
manually or by script.            

April 17, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

It still never ceases to amaze me the number of
individuals laboring under the delusion that use
of electrolysis from high value sources such as
grid, pv, or wind in some manner represents some
sort of solution to something.

In reality, thermodynamic fundamentals involving
exergy will absolutely and positively GUARANTEE
that such electrolysis flat out ain't gonna happen
.

Exergy is a measure of the quality of energy and
directly determines its price and its value. More
specifically, exergy is a measure of the reversibly
recoverable energy fraction
.

Electrical energy is just about the highest exergy
stuff available. Because of its convenience in
efficient conversion to other forms. Bulk hydrogen
energy, on the other hand, has very low exergy
because of its inherent inefficiencies in coversion
and the outrageous amortization costs in doing so.


Electrolysis is pretty much the same as 1:1 converting
US Dollars into Mexican Pesos. There ALWAYS will
be more intelligent things to do with high value electrical
sources such as grid, pv, or wind, than instantly and
irrecoverably destroying most if its value through
electrolysis.

Much more in our Energy Fundamentals and Electrolysis
Tutorials
found on our Hydrogen Energy library page.

April 16, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Some updates on the Arizona Auction Scene:

Arizona State University has now gone to live
auctions instead of direct sales. I'll try to get
this picked up in our Arizona Auction Resources
directory soon.

A number of schools, government, and pseudo
government entities have newly gone to the
Public Surplus website for their sales. To me,
this site reeks of "ain't got a clue" with overpriced
stuff wrongly presented in the wrong way for
the wrong reasons by the wrong people. But just
might occasionally have a stunning hidden buy.

Probably the most obscure upcoming Arizona
auction is this Apple Juice Facility.

Just came from an industrial bankruptcy auction
that strongly reinforced the key things to look
for in deep distress auctions: Poor promotion by
a second tier auctioneer. Utter panic by a
lienholder who just wants their building back.
Few but huge lots, most of which are poisoned
and need major triage. Astounding bargains in
"contents of cabinet" and "contents of room".
Hassles over payments, removal dates, and
cleanup. Time and date conflicts with a major
competitor. And, of course, the restrooms not
working.

Much more in our Auction Resources Library
page. Your own custom local or regional auction
finder can be created for you per these guidelines.

April 15, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I've once again had to temporarily rename our background
utility of KNOCKOUT.BMP because of the monumental
cluelessness of several MySpace users.

Temporarily forgetting that this TWO MEGABYTE bitmap
 is horrendously ugly and wildly inappropriate for wallpaper,
 here is what else they are doing wrong...

     NEVER use a huge bitmap for wallpaper! It gobbles
     bandwidth, p&Isses off ISP's, and slows everything down.
     While very small bitmaps are ok, JPG is far better.

     NEVER use a third party URL to steal any image!
     Because when the owner finds out, they WILL trash the
     image in one way or another. ALWAYS provide your
     own copy of anything and everything essential to your
     web presence.
    
    ALWAYS monitor your log files to see who is ripping
    you off. And then ruthlessly stomp on them. An image
    of an appropriately clad individual pioneering new
    methods of animal husbandry is often effective.

April 14, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Well, it is not quite like being Slashdotted, but many
thanks to you MetaFilter folks for giving us an all time
record day for visits and downloads
.

April 13, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

Here's an update on the status of our Magic Sinewave
The early history is found in our Dripping Stalactite story
found in our GuruGram library.

Magic sinewaves started out as an exhaustive search
to find what the best possible harmonic structure could
be for variable amplitude digital sinewave synthesis
.

Zillions of manhours went into routines that only slightly
hinted that something might even be possible. At long last,
the best of the best was hand crafted ( in a 2:37 am epiphany )
to discover that, yes, a new type of truly magic sinewave
was possible.

A Magic Sinewave that zeroed the maximum possible
number of low harmonics using the minimum possible
number of efficiency robbing transitions. Summarized
by this tutorial.

Brute force methods were then used to expand into a
series of useful results. In that time frame, it was
discovered that Three Phase Magic Sinewaves have
their own unique set of advantages and limitations.

At any rate, a series of ever improving calculators
was started on the Magic Sinewave website. These
originally used a variation on Newton's Method
which is otherwise known as "shake the box". In
which each pulse edge was slightly moved in a
favorable direction. Eventually and slowly converging
to very near a perfect solution.

Many calculators were then generated, up to those
that zeroed out the first 348 (!) harmonics. Speed rapidly
became an &Issue, so partial differential techniques were
gone to that calculated only changes, rather than
recalculating each and every value needed.

A few months back, some hints started emerging that
the Magic Sinewave math was in fact fully deterministic.
And a new multi-pronged attack was begun. This started
with the short lived detmssol.pdf that attempted slope
matching, again using Newton's Method.

This technique only sort of worked, because the slopes
of various harmonics at a pulse edge largely "shield"
each other, making for very slow convergence. But they
did point to the next "giant step" in Magic Sinewave
synthesis: A little known and ultra powerful trig
identity known as...

          cos(a+x) = cos(a)cos(x) - sin(a)sin(x)

   ...
led to this demo calculator and this tutorial of a set of
stunningly fast magic sinewave calculators. Before extending
the calculators, several side &Issues were addressed. A
Monte Carlo technique was used that strongly suggests that
there is one and only one solution set for a given magic sinewave
equation.

This lets you build an approximation into the math without
locking out other possibilities. Some amplitude versus angle
plots
were done that might have led to polynomial approximations
to the magic sinewave math. But the polynomials seemed to
end up outrageously complex.

A continuing sideshow is the "Chebycheff form" of the
equations. Which sure looks like bare metal bedrock, but
requires tools and techniques far beyond my current
math abilities.

A recent discovery is that a class of Bridged Magic Sinewaves
exist that offers a modest amount of carrier suppression.
These were ignored for a long time because of their apparent
three phase incompatibility.

Each new calculator for each value of "n" pulses requires
a horrendous amount of customizing. Because of this,
present effort is going into PostScript routines using my
Gonzo Utilities that write their own custom JavaScript code.

More on this as it further emerges.

April 12, 2007                                                                                           deeplink

I am starting an experimental deep linking to our
news items so you can find them at a later date.

To use, right click on deeplink and then select Copy
Link Location. Then paste to wherever. Or simply
copy the revised URL.

April 11, 2007

We've previously seen that Adobe Acrobat is nearly
ideal for use as a host based general purpose PostScript
Language interpreter
. I finally got around to checking
the latest Distiller version in Acrobat 8, and found a
number of surprises, most of them pleasant.

Current PS language version is 3016.102

When placed on a new machine, Distiller now runs 6.5
times faster than before
. Not sure how much of this is
processor speed and how much is actual runtime changes.

The price for the educational version is now not half bad at
$89.00. That's for the actual program, not just an upgrade.

Fonts are still limited to a few multi-master versions. And
some of those are international. You have to provide your
own Adobe fonts, even most of the original 11
.

The "harsh viewing" bug we looked at in our Transparency
Tutorial
is now apparently gone. This subtle glitch in the PDF
reader wrongly forced CMYK color on any transparency
activity.

There do not seem to be any new additions to the PDFMark
command set
.

I noted in passing that the PostScript random number
generator seems to repeat after a few tens or hundreds
of millions of access passes. This is typical of many
pseudorandom sequence generators.

April 10, 2007

As previously mentioned, we are in the process of
dramatically reducing some of our older inventory.

Most of which will appear here at bargain prices.

In particular, there is now a Joffra 600 precision
temperature calibrator
that so far has only been
bid up to less than five cents on the dollar.

This gem includes the brass slugs for both wet and
dry operation. Its purpose in life is to provide a
precision temperature source for such things as
thermocouple calibrations.

April 9, 2007

Received an email from an individual wanting to
liquidate a large Barbie Doll collection. They were
surprised that not one local auction house so much
as returned their calls.

In general, most individuals tend to grossly overvalue
common collectibles.
Just because they spent a lifetime
acquiring them and spent zillions of dollars on them.

A quick check on eBay shows nearly 10,000 Barbie
listings. The overwhelming majority of these are no
sales at 99 cents or $9.90. But there are a very few
spectacular sales of multi thousands of dollars for
very rare or highly unique items. Some of these may
be bogus, be money laundering, or fail to close.

The Klaus Barbies are particularly in demand because
of their extreme rarity.

Some guidelines...

    SPLIT IT UP -- Almost certainly, a much higher
    total return will be gotten by selling individual
    items.

    METER IT OUT -- Spreading the sales of the
    individual items over a one year period is also
    likely to maximize your return.

   DO IT YOURSELF -- The higher your personal
   value added, the greater the likleyhood of a higher
   total net return.

   KNOW YOUR VALUES -- Thorough research
   of present market values are an absolute must.

   USE THE BIGGIES -- Obvious "top dog" choices
   for selling most anything these days are eBay for
   smaller items of national interest and Craig's List
   for larger and heavier local ones. But do not
   overlook specialized enthuasiast resources

   ASSISTANCE COSTS MONEY -- Auctioneers
   and consignment sellers demand a return on their
   time and risk. Figure twenty percent for an auction,
   fifty percent for consignment, and less than a
   penny on the dollar
on outright instant buyouts.

   HAVE REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS -- It
   can be extremely difficult to return one cent on the
   dollar on common low end collectibles. Especially
   wildly overrated items such as anything from the
   Franklin Mint.

An eBay selling tutorial appears here. With additional
auction support here, and your own custom regional
auction finders here.

April 8, 2007

Have pretty much proven that solution sets are likely to
be unique for Magic Sinewaves of 3-1/2 pulses per
quadrant.

Per this slow preliminary code. And its result.

These are new examples of bridged magic sinewaves
whose final quadrant pulse always ends at 90 degrees.

These do seem to provide for a limited amount of extra
carrier suppression.
Brought about by a sinewave without
a byte in its peak likely having lower close-in harmonics.

The amount of suppression is not yet fully explored, but
probably ranges from four or five decibels at large
amplitudes
down to zero at very small ones. This in
addition to two extra harmonics zeroed by the new half
pulse.

I largely ignored the bridged sinewave opportunities to date
because they did not have ( and still do not have ) any
obvious route to delta friendliness.

Further verification will require some faster hardware and
software. This should go online shortly. Your support as
an associate or a sponsor is welcome.

April 7, 2007

While MIT has pioneered the open courseware
movement
where many class materials are made
freely available online, there's now an Open
Courseware Consortium
extending courses to
dozens of universities and many thousands of courses.

Here's an interesting summary.

Utah State University seems to have some very
interesting and useful Electrical and Computer
Engineering
titles.

April 6, 2007

Here's some of the math behind my attempted
uniqueness proof of the Magic Sinewave equations
for three pulses per quadrant:

Great heaping bunches of random pulses of random
widths
are created and then evaluated to have very
low but nonzero harmonics. Exceptions are then
sought to the expected solutions.

Here's a method of generating five random first quadrant
cosines in progressively decreasing order...

        
/uu rand 2147483648 div store
        /vv rand 2147483648 div uu mul store
        /ww rand 2147483648 div vv mul store
        /xx rand 2147483648 div ww mul store
        /yy rand 2147483648 div xx mul store

Candidate /zz's can be found by amplitude - uu + vv - ww
+ xx - yy
. Those /zz values that are greater than zero and
less than yy can be passed on for further filtering and
processing.

Typically, each new near zeroed harmonic will reduce the
pool of remaining pulses by factors of a hundred to a thousand.
Thus zillions of initial pulses may be needed to even remotely
approach finding exceptions.

There is a somewhat dangerous technique that can
dramatically increase the number of hits you would get.
Many of these random pulses would be wildly improbable.
Especially very fat early ones.

If you have a pile of random cosines and raise them to some
fractional power ( such as taking their square root ), then
the cosines will tend to be much closer together and more
realistically approximate
pulses that are likely to be useful.

One technique that works is....

        
/uu rand 2147483648 div bias exp store
        /vv rand 2147483648 div bias exp uu mul store
        /ww rand 2147483648 div bias exp vv mul store
        /xx rand 2147483648 div bias exp ww mul store
        /yy rand 2147483648 div bias exp xx mul store

Experimental values for bias in the 0.21 range seem to be
proving useful. Further refinement would use small values
of bias for uu getting progressively larger up through yy.

The danger is that the bias may make alternate solutions
less likely
. But it appears a useful tradeoff for sane
processing times.

April 5, 2007

A graphics trick or two that I've found enormously
useful: A PostScript command of 0 setlinewidth will
always image at a single pixel width regardless of
magnification. And Acrobat lets you magnify by
64 times or more.

Taken together, these let you do simple graphics
techniques of amazing accuracy
. Resolving one part
in ten thousand or even one part in a hundred thousand.

Some examples include fitting cubic splines to other
curves such as circles, hyperbolas, or catenaries.
Or accurately expanding Taylor Series terms in a
polynomial approximation.

April 4, 2007

Updated and improved both our home page and
our "Its a Gas" hydrogen energy library page.

As well as our Magic Sinewave library.

April 3, 2007

The only remaining use for public transportation is to
provide predators with prey.

Curiously, this works both on the urban gang level and
on the city council level.

April 2, 2007

The monumental cluelessness of the media on all matters
scientific or energetic continues to astound me. As in this
latest fiasco where energy and power are clearly confused.

We looked at the crucial differences in our Energy Fundamentals
tutorial. Briefly, energy is "how much" and power is "how fast".

I'll gladly sell you a device that gives you a thousand watts back
for every watt you put in. But so will Radio Shack.

It is called a "capacitor".

At any rate, we have this stupendous super wonderful 10 kilowatt
power generator. All you do is drive your car over it. Golly
Gee Mister Science! If the car is over the device for two seconds,
this revolutionary energy breakthrough generates a staggering
20 kilowatt-seconds of energy.

Wow! This is 0.00555 of a kilowatt hour! Or just over 500
microcents worth of electricity! Needless to say, this neglects
the loss of momentum of the car which will be significantly higher.

And, of course, the amortization, which clearly will be ludicrous.

April 1, 2007

A stunning breakthrough in mass teleportation is found here.

March 31, 2007

Proving that only one solution set exists for an exotic
math equation can be enormously difficult. But it all
boils down to finding a counter example.

One method of doing so is called the Monte Carlo Method.
In which you run millions or billions of random simulations
seeking out exceptions.

Alternate solutions are of crucial interest in all of my
Magic Sinewaves. If they do exist, then possibly some of
them might offer carrier suppression or other benefits.
If they do not exist, then it is "safe" to use solutions that
include an inherent guess ( such as carrier impulse phase
locations ) as part of their methodology.

So far, I've pretty much convinced myself that no alternate
solution sets are likely to exist for two or three pulses per
quadrant.
Using code such as this crude example and
its preliminary result.

Four pulses per quadrant will take many hours of computing
time. Five or more becomes outrageously intensive and may
take better algorithms, faster languages, faster machines,
months of calculation, and parallel processing.

March 30, 2007

Had a reader ask about aluminum as an energy source.

The energy density of aluminum can be somewhere around
8 to 10 kwh/kilogram. Or only somewhat lower than
gasoline's 13.4 kwh/kg. Considering the density ratios of
2.7 to 0.7, aluminum's energy density by volume might
actually end up higher than gasolne's 9 kwh/liter.

An advocacy site appears here.

My own take on this is that the aluminum companies
looked at all this quite thoroughly several decades
ago and were unable to come up with anything even
remotely energy or cost effective.

Yes, we have aluminum air batteries that offer better
energy density than lead acid. But they seem to have
peaked into specialty niche markets.

Refining aluminum remains an enormously energy
intensive process
. There's also compounding problems
such as aluminum oxide being sapphire hard intractable
sludge. And "burning aluminum cans" has energy
problems in their gathering, a much lower energy density
because of air remaining after crushing, and not being
a large enough source to be worthwhile.

This all could change if a dramatically lower energy
method of refining aluminum emerges. Until such time,
though, I feel that aluminum energy remains a fantasy.

March 29, 2007

If you are not part of the solution, then you are part
of the precipitate.

March 28, 2007

The recent progress in light emitting diodes is
utterly amazing. Trade journals are routinely
publishing hundred watt driver solutions for such
things as HDTV backlighting.

Efficiencies are blasting through the 120 lumens per
watt range
. The theoretical best you can do is something
like 334 lumens per watt for white light and double that
for green. Compared to a pitiful 15 lumens per watt for
a typical incandescent lamp. Or three times that for a
fluorescent.

An older lighting efficiency tutorial appears here.
While the latest and best info shows up in the free
LED Journal.

Because removing heat from tiny point sources is
an extreme engineering challenge, arrays of LED's
seem to dominate today
, rather than individual very
high wattage lamps. At present, five watts is a rather
large single LED rating.

And one solution to the still somewhat higher pricing
for white LED's is to use arrays of red, blue, and green
ones instead.

One source of ultra reliable LED lamps is found here.

March 27, 2007

A web guide to shipping solutions, both standard
and alternate appears at http://www.uship.com.

Not sure if this can help solve the Draconian heavy item
shipping problems here in the Gila Valley. But this link
should be eminently useful elsewhere.

For every "by-the-rules" commercial shipper, there
likely are several dozen lean and mean truckers who
just happen to make trips from point A to point B with
excess capacity. Finding these sources in the past has
been tricky to say the least.

March 26, 2007

Complex math equations can have zero, one, many,
or an infinite number of solutions. An early Magic
Sinewave
discovery found a "hidden" and "secret"
set of pulse positions that zeroed out two extra
harmonics free of charge.

Turns out that if you add half of an invisible and zero
energy pulse at zero degrees, you end up with the
Best Efficiency sequence that adds a virtual half of
a pulse
per quadrant. Ferinstance, a regular magic
sinewave of seven pulses per quadrant zeros all
harmonics through the twenty sixth. The Best Efficiency
sequence zeros all harmonics through the twenty eighth.

It is thus challenging to find out what else lies hidden in
the way of other sequences. Especially those that may
offer carrier suppression or ease extension to larger n.

Our newest Ultra Fast Magic Sinewave Calculator and
its tutorial presumes one and only one solution set to
the underlying math.

But are there others?

I just completed a two pulse per quadrant Monte Carlo
analysis that strongly suggests that the present
solution sets are unique
. Extending this to three or
higher pulses per quadrant presents all sorts of problems.
Such as processing times that tend towards infinity. And
an absolute proof might end up quite nasty.

Best guesses at present: Magic Sinewaves do have fully
deterministic solutions. There is often only one solution set
per equation set.

March 25, 2007

A reminder that I have two extremely rare 1908 silent
movie projectors
in stock. These are presently disassembled
for refurb and thus should be fairly easy to ship. These are
Eastman commercial projectors used for years in the Cliffton
Arizona theater and discovered hidden in a subbasement during
an estate auction.

email me if you are interested in a unique restoration opportunity.

March 24, 2007

Updated and improved our Magic Sinewave library page.
It now includes the latest ultra fast calculator links and their
tutorials.

March 23, 2007

We are doing a major reevaluation of our older inventory.
Based on if we haven't touched the stuff for two years or
more, then we probably will never get around to it.

Much of this has or will shortly be passed on to another
eBay seller
. Where some outstanding opportunities should
abound.

March 22, 2007

There's a "chebycheff transformed" or "bare metal"
version of the Magic Sinewave equations. I've been
double checking this form recently using our new
ultra fast Magic Sinewave calculator.

If you take the basic equations for 0.53 amplitude and replace
them with Chebycheff polynomials ( or perform the exact
equivalent of using trig multi-angle formulas ) and then combine
and simplify and let x=cos(ang), this equation set emerges...

x0^1 - x1^1 +....+ x12^1 + x13^1 = 0.53*pi/4
x0^3 - x1^3 +....+ x12^3 + x13^3 = 0.53*pi/4*(3/4)
 x0^5 - x1^5 +....+ x12^5 + x13^5 = 0.53*pi/4*(3/4)(5/6)
 x0^7 - x1^7 +....+ x12^7 + x13^7 = 0.53*pi/4*(3/4)(5/6)(7/8)
            .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
 x0^27 - x1^27 +....+ x12^27 + x13^27 = 0.53*pi/4*(3/4)...(27/28)

This has a truly fundamental "bedrock" look about it. And,
yes, I've tentatively verified that uniquely bizarre sequence of
(3/4)(5/6)(7/8)... Which, somehow seems the secret key to the
forced zeros that make all the magic happen.

I have no idea how to directly solve this equation set, (only the
real roots are of interest and all coefficients are plus or minus
one) but doing so could likely lead to a fully deterministic
Magic Sinewave solution.

March 21, 2007

A thorough analysis of the energy losses inherent in
any "hydrogen economy" appears here.

The bottom line is that if you want to efficiently use
hydrogen, you should bond it with carbon into a convenient
room temperature liquid. Such as heptane or iso-octane.

More in our Energy Fundamentals tutorial.

March 20, 2007

Many older HP manuals are newly being added to the main
Agilent site. Over 5000 at last count.

March 19, 2007

Got around to rewatching Captain Video. It is utterly amazing
how much and how far television has declined since 1949!

Actually, the "real" Captain Video episodes are very hard to
find and few and far between, so you have to do with the Columbia
film serial. As per this history summary, this fan site, and this
Google search.

But here is what is spooky: Our goodwill ambassadors to outer
space are in fact Captain Video, Roller Derby, and Kukla, Fran,
and Ollie
.

Now a cubic light year is a "fair to middlin" amount of turf. And
since 1949, these signals have now swept out something near one
million cubic light years of space
. Which should be big enough to
hold more than a few intelligent civilizations. And whose volume is
now dramatically expanding. We'll note in passing that about one
new extrasolar planet is discovered per month these days.

Suppose one of these civilizations does in fact intercept our goodwill
messages. The technology required for the signal level receptions
involved is well within our own technology, so it should be no big deal.

Exactly what conclusions would an advanced civilization draw upon
receiving a lucidly clear ten second clip of Roller Derby as the sum total
of the known culture of humankind?

Scary, huh?

March 18, 2007

Strange fire tale #1 -- We were working the Gentry
lookout when the next forest over put a totally untrained
relief lookout on nearby Oahaca lookout. At the time,
there were very strict scripted radio procedures for fire
reporting. Over the radio comes "Dispatcher, dispatcher,
there is a fire!". Dispatcher ( showing extreme restraint )
asks where the fire is. "Right over there in those trees!".

Strange fire tale #2 -- TFD gets a call for an isolated brush
fire under a remote power pole. Turns out a crow crossed
an insulator, electrocuted itself, set its tail feathers on fire,
and dropped down into the fuel.

Strange fire tale #3 -- AKA the case of the exploding KFC
chicken gravy. We get a late night call to KFC because they
left the hotplate on under a large vat of chicken gravy which
was now burning. Putting a cookie sheet on as a cover put the
fire out, or so we thought. We hauled the pot out to the back
yard where we started dumping it. Oxygen hit the hot grease
and flashed on us. A fireman holding a dry chem nozzle stood
there mesmerized as the fire rolled up his arm. Fortunately,
turnout gear works the way it is supposed to.

Strange fire tale #4 -- Training centers usually have a
"Christmas Tree" used to create huge propane fireballs for
teaching a procedure called a "coordinated attack". After
all the Dante's Inferno fun, there will sometimes be spectacularly
beautiful ice crystals (!) on the Christmas Tree. Turns out the
fireball is hollow and the rapidly expanding propane cools the air
so much that the water vapor freezes out. The crystals have super
sharp edges and are incredibly wondrous.

March 17, 2007

An intriguing graph of magic sinewave pulse position
plots
can be newly found here. This was created
using our new ultra fast Magic Sinewave calculator.

Amplitudes appear horizontally on a 0-1 scale while
angles appear vertically from 0 to 90 degrees.

This exact set of pulse positions will synthesize a
digital sinewave whose harmonics 2 through 28
are theoretically zero. And at astonishingly low
levels when quantized to 8-bit compatible values.

Any given pulse is "downward trending" from its
proportional sine fraction. The amount of this
downward trend greatly exceeds any differences
between cosines and the angles they create.

Each angle-vs-amplitude curve can be represented
by a polynomial. Unfortunately, these polynomials
are all different. Worse, they all are either very
high order, or else the product of a low order and
high order term.

Candidate polynomials can be found using our
Power Fitting utility.

The plots suggest that other classes of solution are
unlikely and that approximations to a true solution
will probably be woefully inaccurate.

More in our Magic Sinewave library.

March 16, 2007

I am still wanting to buy a 2003 4WD 4Runner,
preferably with the tow package and from a private
party. I will even pay a reasonable finder's fee.

Our local car dealer committed somewhat of what
those French Veterinarians call a "four paw" when
he assured me they had a longbed 4runner in stock.

He obviously underestimated the value of his extremely
rare collectible. Or else was confusing his IQ with his
shoe size.

At any rate, private car sales are now 1/3 of the total
market.
Shared equally with new and used car dealers.
Private numbers, of course, are skyrocketing

Here's a few web resources I've found of interest...

        Kelly Blue Book
        Edmunds.com
        eBay Motors
        Craig's List Tucson
        Craig's List Phoenix
        Arizona Newspapers
        Arizona Republic Classifieds
        Tucson Daily Star Classifieds
        Auto Extra
        Auto Trader
        Cars.com

Please email me if you have any leads or further info.

March 15, 2007

Any time you see the words "zero pollution" or
"non-polluting" or "carbon free", you can rest
assured the claimant is either totally clueless or
else lying through their teeth.

For instance, any use of terrestrial hydrogen is
simply a pollution AMPLIFIER that INTENSIFIES
the pollution of the underlying net energy sources.

Three other examples: An interesting recent paper
shows how a Hummer is far LESS polluting than a
Prius when considered on a total cost of ownership
basis.

An individual loudly proclaimed their solar powered
new electrolysis hydrogen house was totally pollution
free. But neglected the highly polluting $600,000 in
upfront costs and well over a million in its excluded
opportunity costs
. The whole project is a laughingly
and ludicrously bad gasoline destroying net energy
sink.

I suspect the project will quickly get abandoned when
they get their first replatinization bill for the electrolysizer.
Or when DHS or their local Hazmat folks have a little
talk with them over their terrorist bombs.

The poster child of environmental greenness and energy
efficiency, of course, is the compact fluorescent lamp.
And yes, there are times and places where these MAY
prove an advantage.

But a CFL installed as a closet light is a highly polluting
net energy sink.
And the quality control on at least some
of these lamps is so mesmerizingly awful that at least
some do not last nearly as long as incandescents, let alone
giving a lifetime advantage.

A CFL is certainly worthwhile on any light fixture that is
run for four or more hours per day. Their benefits are
questionable at best on lamps only occasionally turned on
for only brief time intervals.

Much more in our Energy Fundamentals tutorial.

March 14, 2007

Nikoli Tesla, of course, is the patron saint of the Church
of the Latter Day Crackpots
.

More on similar tautology here.

March 13, 2007

Added some additional resources to our Auction
Directories
.

Your own custom auction resource finder can be
created for you in this manner.

March 12, 2007

Our new ultra fast Magic Sinewave calculator seems
to be leading to all sorts of progress in finding a true
deterministic magsine solution.

Such a solution would enormously simplify finding
values for differing number of pulses per quadrant.
And may lead to alternate solution sets. The latter
hopefully with some sort of carrier suppression or
other surprise benefits.

But certain details remain frustratingly difficult. It
is easy now to create a very accurate list of angles
versus amplitudes. By working backwards from the
calculator answers.

Checking these lists show that they are apparently
continuous monotonic functions with continuous
and monotonic derivatives
.

By using our earlier Power Curve Data Point Fitter,
polynomials can be found that are arbitrarily close
to the true angle versus amplitude functions.

Ferinstance, the difficult p7s cosine differences
from the cosine of 84 degrees can be very accurately
approximated by...

     0.3358530 x^8 - 0.859187 x^7 + 0.9402150 x^6 -
     0.5461080 x^5 + 0.186639 x^4 - 0.0301071 x^3 +
     0.0073559 x^2 + 0.103448 x^1

where x is your amplitude from 0 to 0.8. Further, the lion's
share of the linear term is clearly made up of the carrier
angle fraction of 0.104528 times the amplitude

But what is left seems to defy any simple closed form
expression that this or a similar polynomial represents.
Any "easy" approximations seem woefully inaccurate.

Because the curve is extremely "bent" between 0.8 and
1.0 amplitude, it is not clear whether we have one or
two functions involved. The second that kicks in only
on very high amplitudes.

The trig identity of....

           cos (a+b) = cos(a)cos(b) -sin(a)sin(b)

      ... would appear to somehow play a crucial role. And
Chebycheff polynomials are likely to be stuffed in there
as well.

The goal remains to find a closed form, single pass, and
fully deterministic solution that inputs an amplitude and
a number of pulses per quadrant and outputs a list of
pulse starting and ending angles.

The present calculator requires a class restrictive
and pulse count restrictive initial guess and three or four
iterations for extreme accuracy.

It is, however, extremely fast and convenient.

I'm not sure where to go from here.
Your suggestions welcome.

March 11, 2007

There is a new HDMI standard emerging for digital
video interconnects. Short for high definition multimedia
interface
.

Basically, it consists of three connectors that are a cross
between USB and those on a cell phone. Having either
19 or 29 pins.

You can find the HDMI parent organization here and
a copy of the full HDMI spec here.

March 10, 2007

Refurb Log:

It appears that many of our buyers do not have the faintest
clue what a solid state relay is or how to properly test one.
We looked at this in detail here with our August 31st entry.

Note that an Ohmmeter or a DVM "continuity tester"
is almost totally useless on an ac solid state relay. While
it can show a dead short, it will read open, regardless if
the working relay is on or off!

Here is the proper test procedure on a normal ac solid state
relay: Connect one of the main "contacts" to the ac line.
Connect the other main contact to one side of a 60 watt
light bulb. Connect the other side of the light bulb to the
other side of the ac line.

Forming a series connection between line, relay, and load.
There is a definite shock hazard here, so be careful.

Find a small variable dc power supply whose range is
above the minimum control voltage of the SSR. While most
newer SSR's work over a 3-30 vdc input range, some older
ones require a 10-30 vdc input.

Applying a dc voltage input of the proper polarity above the
minimum should light the bulb. The bulb should stay off
otherwise.

Note that an ac solid state relay demands a minimum power
load. A sixty watt bulb is normally well above this minimum.
But well below any heatsinking worries.

A more subtle test and more advanced test: Some SSR's are
zero crossing switched for minimum pops and glitches. Others
will allow variable phase control for dimmers and such. A
zero crossing switched SSR can NOT be used for dimming!

Here is how to tell the difference: Get a pulse or function
generator and set it for a fairly narrow ( 0.5 millisecond )
pulse and a frequency of 120.05 Hertz. Use this as a control
input for your SSR. Use a 60 watt bulb for the load as before.

A phase controllable SSR should show smooth brightness
variations. Repeating over a ten second time interval. A
zero crossing switched SSR will have only sudden changes
in brightness.

You can slightly vary the generator frequency to speed up
or slow down the beat frequency as your power line cycles
get slipped.

March 9, 2007

Dramatically improved the reporting ability of our new
Magic Sinewave ultra fast calculators.

You can now cut and paste complete sets of all angles
and/or all pulse position pairs.

A recent Magic Sinewave tutorial appears here, with
an intro here and bunches of additional support here.

March 8, 2007

Because of a system reconfiguration, we seem to have
lost a few hours of email this afternoon. Please resend
anything
that seems to have gone unanswered.

March 7, 2007

The antistatic totes that we have up on eBay are
selling much faster than we expected.

While we will gladly sell you a single lot of 25, please
note that there are four packs of 25 in a factory case
of 100. Ordering in multiples of 4 lots can give you
faster, better, and lower cost shipping.

As usual, we are always glad to combine shipping
if you email us for specifics.

March 6, 2007

Had several requests on underlining with our gonzo
utilities
. Underlining should be tolerated in the second
grade, discouraged in the third, and severely penalized
in the fourth.

Fortunately, the problem is self-limiting because nearly
all compulsive underliners eventually grow so much hair
on the palms of their hands that they can no longer type
.

The best substitute for underlining these days is a
color change. Even bolding or italics are passe.

At any rate, if you must underline in gonzo, the simplest
way is to use the |o overstrike command. This prints
a new character on top of an existing one.

More interesting and intelligent uses of the overstrike
are to complement logic notations or add a "~" on top
of "canyon". The techniques we looked at a day or
two ago can also be used to start and stop underlining.
But note that collisions with lower case descenders will
often trash your results.

BTW, all of our web pages look infinitely better if you
turn your URL underlining off in your browser. In Firefox,
the process is options --> general --> colors --> underline
unchecked
.

March 5, 2007

There is a fundamental thermodynamic property called
exergy that absolutely GUARANTEES that electrolysis
from high value electrical sources such as grid, pv solar,
or wind will NEVER be used to produce bulk hydrogen
gas energy.

Exergy is a measure of the reversibly recoverable energy
fraction and thus an index of energy quality. The staggering
and irreversible loss of exergy during electrolysis is
unavoidable
. There will ALWAYS be more intelligent things
to do with high value electricity than immediately and
irreparably destroy much if not most of its value.

This is the reason that electrolysis is NEVER used
commercially for bulk hydrogen energy. For the process
is pretty much the same as 1:1 interchanging US Dollars
for Mexican Pesos.

Much more on electrolysis guidelines here and on
energy fundamentals here.

March 4, 2007

Some questions came up on the "comp.lang.postscript"
newsgroup on embedding commands in our gonzo utilities.

In general, most anything can be embedded into a gonzo
text string using a "|" followed by a command letter or
string. Many commands are already built in, such as a
"|2" to change to font 2, or a "|h" to provide a half
space of vertical ledding.

There are also twelve programmable macro commands
you can redefine any way you like. These are |a through
|f and |U through |Z. You define these as /amacro {stuff}
store
, etc... These are case sensitive.

You can also embed any postscript command by using
a |/myspecialstuff insertion. The rule here is that
one space MUST follow. This space gets "swallowed"
during the execution. Be sure to provide an ending
space before any carriage return!


Forinstance "|2|/greatproc |h" switches to font two,
executes /greatproc and then provides a half linefeed.

BUT -- there can be a very subtle gotcha with certain of
your embedded commands that try to do fancy things
within a text line. For instance, if you want to change
the color of one word or enter an automatic tracking
URL
. Or do not yet know the exact position in a
line to be fill justified.

The trick is to defer the execution of this command
until the time the linestring is executed
. The magic
sequence to do this is...

printlist exch 3 index exch put exch 1 add exch

Ferinstance, here is how you would make one word blue...

     
 /blueon {mark /blue cvx 0.33 /setgray cvx] cvx
      printlist exch 3 index exch put exch 1 add exch} def

      /blueoff {mark /black cvx 0.33 /setgray cvx] cvx
      printlist exch 3 index exch put exch 1 add exch} def

      50 70 ( One |/blueon blue|/blueoff character. ) cl

Note the double space after |/blueoff ! The first of these
gets swallowed and the second is real.

S
impler examples of gonzo use appear in our PostScript
Beginner Stuff
, and in our PostScript library. While
fancier examples are found in any of the .PSL files in the
GuruGram and other libraries on our website.

March 3, 2007

The evidence continues to pile up that Magic Sinewave
solutions can be found that are fully determininistic.

Such solutions would be enormously useful to investigate
Magic Sinewaves with hundreds or even thousands of
low harmonics zeroed. They also would vastly simplify
needing new routines for differing values of n pulses per
quadrant.

And the more important question of alternate solution
classes existing that might offer special benefits, such as
carrier suppression for easier filtering.

Ideally, you would input the number of pulses per quadrant,
the desired amplitude, and an instant and non-recursive
list of start and end angles would result.

If you use our latest fast calculator and its tutorial, the
superfast and super accurate new solutions strongly
suggest that the edge angle versus amplitude points
are in fact well behaved and continuous monotonic
functions.

These functions can be approximated to any needed
accuracy with a group of polynomials. For instance,
the "more difficult" p7s for an amplitude x over a
0 to 1 range can be approximated by...

    
p7s = 84.000 - acos ( 0.583 x + 0.053x^2 +
               0.023x^3 + 0.027x^4 + ... + 0.314 x^36 )

We see that this is apparently a well behaved power
series with all terms progressive and monotonic.

There are apparently three underlying factors that
drive this angle cosine expression...

   (1) A linear term proportional to amplitude
        whose fraction is proportioned to the sine
        squared of the carrier phase angle.

   (2) Some fairly minor low order powers that
         mostly influence mid amplitude values.
         Values appear "not totally unlike" a
         hyperbolic cosine series.

   (3) A very strong high order power that only
        affects the very highest amplitudes.

We now have three routes to actually finding the
underlying determininistic equations. We can
somehow relate the above polynomials directly
to their underlying math
. Or we can make our
"guess" good enough by itself. Or can make our
already nearly deterministic "improver" so
fast converging that it can accept any input.

I still do not have the foggiest clue how to relate
a true deterministic solution to the polynomials.
Although they obviously are a major step in the
right direction. I also strongly suspect our trig
identity of...

       cos (a+x) = cos(a)cos(x) - sin(a)sin(x)

or its approximations will play a crucial role.
As might some "modulation theory" approach.

So, the present solution is left as an exercise
for the student. I suspect it will not fit in the
margin of this blog.

Your comments and support welcome.

March 1, 2007

I can see a major problem emerging that will
very dramatically affect power utility system
stability. At present, all of their regulation
methods assume that if the voltage goes up,
so does the load current drawn
.

But with many switchmode power supplies,
power factor correctors, and with newer
fluorescent electronic ballasts, the current
will go down as the voltage increases!

Thus presenting a negative resistance to
the power grid!

I suspect that if such loads get more than
about fifteen or twenty percent of the total,
some very ugly things will start happening
to the power delivery system
.

Some related topics are covered in our
energy fundamentals tutorial.

February 28, 2007

Spam continues to be outrageous, with us
getting some 2000+ per day. And the spam
apparently is compounding at an even more
alarming rate
.

First, because new spam attempts use images
instead of text, and thus take zillions more
megabytes off the web. And secondly, because
the "get around the spam filter" stunts are so
obvious that the response plummets. And thirdly
because very few people will now open any image
at all except from a trusted source.

Thus the percentage response is dropping while
the message size is increasing. A total crash
of the internet in the near future is not unlikely.

The spam solution is simple: Nothing arrives with
postage due!
Anyplace. Anytime.

Meanwhile, company email sites face a dilemma.
You have your choice of accepting any address or
a specific list of address. The specific list flushes
bunches of spam. On the other hand, a random
engineering@tinaja.com or sales@tinaja.com might
also get rejected if you do not second guess properly.

The trick is to have several dozen legit email aliases.
Tailored to what your customers might guess at.

February 27, 2007

Discovered a possibly "new" math function that seems
to approximate Magic Sinewave angle-vs-amplitude
functions to amazing accuracy.

We might call this one a concave hyperspline.

Its formula is y = ax^b + (1-a)x^c. It is intended for scaled
use over a 0,0 to 1,1 range. It is for approximating some
monotonically concave curves that start out with a low slope
and end with a steeper (and often much steeper) slope.

If b>c, b largely determines the exit slope near 1,1, and
c largely sets the entry slope near 0,0. a can be used to
exactly match an intermediate point or give a best least
squares fit
to a group of intermediate points or the entire
curve.

Typical values might be a=0.8, b=9.1, and c=2.3.

Compared to a cubic spline, this works very well with
"more bent" curves, has no "t" parametric involvement,
and appears to be guaranteed monotonic. It retains a
sparse data set and is efficient. b and c are not limited to
integers from 0 to 3. Speed is not an &Issue for my use.

Is this a known math function and does it have a name
and a history? Where can I find more about it without
reinventing the wheel?

Please email me with your comments.

February 26, 2007

A brief reminder about our eBay assortments. We recently
bought out an electronic distributor and now have many
hundreds of first rate items in very low quantities. We also
happen to have great heaping bunches of very lightly used
50 drawer plastic cabinets . So the obvious thing to do is
combine the two.

Everything is absolutely top quality, as new, name brand and
most popular values. We try to give you the best possible
assortment of what is left. Typically at one-sixth to one-tenth
distributor new costs.

Assortments include full size switches, subminiature
switches, snap action "microswitch" actuators, small
relays, electrolytic capacitors, regular capacitors,
crystals, crystal oscillator modules, precision resistors,
connectors, audio accessories, and a few others.

More info in our eBay store.

February 25, 2007

Added a new Northern California Auction Resources
section to our Auction Help page. Many thanks to
Michael Mack for his sponsorship.

Many other links on our Auction Help page are also
being corrected, deleted, or updated.

Your own custom regional auction finder can be created
for you per these guidelines.

February 24, 2007

Made some updates, revisions, and corrections to our
home page.

February 22, 2007

Two recent discoveries: A nice TI tutorial on transformer
design for switchmode power supplies
.

And a chip source finder that checks all major distributors.
Seems to work for relays and such as well.

The latter has been particularly handy to find out which of
our eBay components remain mainstream stock items.

February 22, 2007

The latest &Issue of Science Magazine for February 9,
2007 has a good summary on where pv solar electricity
is and where it has to go. Titled Toward Cost-Effective
Solar Energy Use
. By Nathan S. Lewis on pages 798
to 901 of Volume 315.

The situation as I see it is this: Conventional silicon pv
has never been able to produce so much as one watthour
of fully burdened, properly accounted net energy. An
analysis of this appears in our Energy Fundamentals
tutorial.

We thus clearly have a classic Engineering Rathole.

And an absolute proof lies in not one power utility anyplace
anytime using conventional silicon pv for routine avoided
cost peaking
that is unsubsidized and ungreeniePRed.

The evidence tells me that conventional silicon pv hit the
wall decades ago and will never be able to provide net
unsubsidized and fully burden accounted net energy.

Fortunately, there are very promising new developments
in the area of CIGS solar and Quantum Dots that do in
fact appear to have the near-in potential of net solar pv.

February 21, 2007

Our new Ultra Fast Magic Sinewave Calculator and its
GuruGram tutorial strongly suggests that one-step
solutions to Magic Sinewaves exist that are fully
deterministic.

The search for these has become somewhat obsessive.

Ideally, one single step math function can be found that
inputs any number of carrier phases and directly in
one pass solves exactly for any value of n.

So far, the new and far more exact calculators strongly
suggest that the angle versus amplitude curves are
indeed smooth and continuous
. Their major component
appears to be angles linearly related to amplitude and
inversely related as the relevant fraction of the square
of the sine of the carrier phase
.

This major component is modified by the magic stuff
error that forces all of the harmonics to zero. At present
this magic is found by a guesser followed by an improver.

Routes to a true solution might be to (1) make the guesser
so good that an improver is not needed, (2) make the
improver converge so fast that any guess will do, or (3)
find polynomial approximations that can lead to a
true solution.

Much of the fancy magic math appears to take place
on the "more bent" changes above amplitude 0.85.

A polynomial such as 1.963570 x - 3.70057 x^2 +
2.56773 x^3 - 0.570418 x^4 + 0.626587 x^5
seems
to work well for all values of angle p2s. But something
way beyond a fifth order is clearly needed for p7s. Or
else a split into separate solutions above and below
some high amplitude.

I'm not too sure where to go from here. The fact that
the higher order poly terms remain strong suggests
that no true solution can be found that is not a lot
more exotic than the guesser-improver route
.

More on this whenever.

February 20, 2007

Few outsiders can appreciate how much and how
drastically volunteer firefighting has recently changed.
Three major areas include training, safety, and equipment.

Most newer volunteer firemen now receive exactly the
same training that large paid city department members
do. And many are now Firefighter I or Firefighter II
certified. Most departments are dramatically upgrading
training of older members. Some including strong financial
incentives to do so.

It was not that long ago that a training film involved a
six month wait. Today, most departments have dozens
to hundreds of top quality videos available in house. And
even doing their own for department specific info such
as sprinkler hookups. And there's now far more regional
training short courses and seminars than ever before.

As to safety, nobody rides tailboard anymore. All responses
are crewcab or personnel vans. Airpacks are a must, even
remotely near a danger area. Despite their recent bad
press, PASS devices on airpacks are nearly universal and
work well most of the time. ( A pass device starts squawking
quietly if a fireman does not move for a few seconds and
loudly if not for a few more. ) We also have new safety
rules called RIT and short for Rapid Intervention Teams.

Equipment improvement has been dramatic, both on big
and small items. Here at TFD, we have gone from three
pieces of hand-me-down engines to fourteen first rate
apparati. So good that jaws drop on the occasional visit
from a paid Phoenix or Tucson fireman. But the real
advances have been made on the little stuff.

Things like ridiculously improved lighting, both scene
and on person. Large diameter 5 inch hose that moves
the hydrant to the fire. Small, portable, and fast foam
packs. Cost effective video thermal cameras that literally
see through walls. New types of foam. Extrication equipment
much faster and safer than before.

The best firefighting book, bar none, is found here.

February 19, 2007

It seems there are two kinds of info out there. Namely
stuff that is readily and freely web available. And stuff
that remains outrageously overpriced and wildly hard to
access because of its traditional gatekeepers.

The latter, of course, are in the process of self-destructing.

A serious researcher has a choice of paying thousands of
dollars to have their paper appear months or years later
in a scholarly pub that not even their own library can afford.
Or instantly publish on the web to a world wide audience
of untold millions.

A recent example: When doing a new Regional Auction
Resource Locator
for a client, I needed a sequential list
of the circulation figures for California newspapers
.

For m&Issing a major newspaper with classified resources in
a different area of the country just because it had a strange
name or a smaller town origin would clearly be what those
French Veterinarians call a "four paw".

Finding the top 100 US newspapers is fairly trivial using
Wikipedia. And the top 200 using Google. But I found no
simple web list of ordered regional circulations, short of
a special library trip to reference costly and inconvenient
ABC documents.

Fortunately, California is well represented in the top
200 US newspapers. I think I caught most of them

Please let me know if I m&Issed something obvious here.

February 18, 2007

I sorely m&Iss the Dr. Html link checker which apparently
has gone dark.

I did discover that a great and free HTML link checker is
available at http://validator.w3.org/checklink I'll try to add
this to our home page shortly.

Acrobat .PDF files can easily and quickly be link checked
using the Acrobat 6 or newer Advanced ---> Links --->
Verify Links in Document.

One easy way to spell check a website is with Adobe
GoLive's Edit ---> Check Spelling. A similar feature should
be available inside Dreamweaver.

I guess I still prefer older Golive over Dreamweaver.
Despite GoLive occasional blowups and slowdowns.

February 17, 2007

Latest GuruGram #73 is a tutorial on An Ultra Fast
Magic Sinewave Calculator
.

The demo calculator itself appears here, the tutorial
sourcecode here, and additional Magsine info here.

February 16, 2007

A few decades back, there were some papers that
suggested that a low level (3% to 5%) of hydrogen
injection into a conventional internal combustion
engine could improve both mileage and pollution
.

A summary bibliography appears here.

Key &Issues are (1) whether any new engine loads
or performance restrictions would exceed the benefits,
(2) whether amortization will ever allow any benefit
breakeven, and (3) compatibility with other ongoing
ICE engine improvements.

As we've seen, onboard electrolysis is wildly and
ludicrously inappropriate as a hydrogen source. The
fanbelt alone is enough to guarantee this. Possibly
useful routes might include exhaust gas reformation
or onboard previously filled tanks.

Since three decades have gone by without much in
the way of actual product, the chances are that
not much will ever come of this concept.

Especially the present trucker ripoff scams and
wildly misinformed newsgroup posts.

February 15, 2007

Improving lettering on a .BMP image can be a
sticky problem. The best rule is to not mess with
it
if at all possible.

The first things to try are to retouch any glaringly
wrong pixels
. Followed by making a more uniform
background
and trimming the edges ( especially on
rounded "S" and such ) to a credible border.

Should only a letter or two have problems, sometimes
you can borrow one from elsewhere on the image. And
symmetry techniques can be used to, say, repair the left
half of an "O" that needs work.

If an entire relettering is justified, try my bitmap typewriter
found in our Fonts & Images library. This utility can give
you the absolutely finest fully anti-aliased lettering in
astonishingly small point sizes. It is best used on a one
pixel accurate fully distortion corrected image.

But, if need be, very high quality perspective lettering can
be handled per this tutorial.

February 14, 2007

We pride ourselves in having the finest eBay photos
anyplace ever. Several tutorials appear on our
Auction Help library page.

Here's a review of how we get from, say, here to here.
The first file is a bitmap and might be slow loading.

Mostly done with plain old Paint, Imageview32 and a
few of my custom routines.

You stay in the .BMP format until the final step out
the door.
Start with Imageview32. Do a large crop,
including something that can become nice background.
Rotate if needed seeking out one pixel accuracy on
vertical or horizontal lines
.

The file gets saved to a
new working filename. If huge,
reduce to the 1200 or fewer pixels wide.
If truly murky,
lower gamma and raise brightness. More improvement
will be made later.

Bring new file up in Paint for further work. If two views,
move them around a little till they ascetically align and are
reasonably spaced.
Find a nice small and slightly mottled
background. Replicate a dozen times and check for any
artifacts.
Then replicate again and cover nearly all of the
background.

Work with some edges, getting a small credible edge.
Then "chase" the edge up and down. Always seeking
a one pixel alignment where appropriate.
If unsure about
an outcome, drag a copy into the background, experiment,
and then replace.

Work with some corners, again seeking credibility. Then use
Paint's overlooked but extremely useful flip/rotate.
Expand
good internal areas, overwriting bad ones. Use symmetry
where appropriate.
Reduce or eliminate shadows. Take out
any individual jarring pixels.

When properly cleaned up, b
ring up the best edited file
again in Imageview32
. Crop attractively to a reasonable
amount of balanced background.
If oversize, reduce to 684
pixels wide.
Reduce the gamma by nearly 1/3 and boost the
brightness by 1/3 and slightly increase the contrast.

Play around with these settings for the best "punch" Try
one click only of sharpening. But make sure it improves
lettering without adding sugar.

After you have the best possible edit,
save as a .JPG file
to the highest quality level.

February 13, 2007

Do precise and determininistic solutions for Magic
Sinewaves
exist? I've gone on the assumption to date
that they do not. But recent evidence suggests that
direct solutions are in fact possible.

This would enormously simplify extension to higher
pulses per quadrant. But so far, exact solutions seem
very resistant to their discovery.

Our latest calculator demo appears here. It is about
a thousand times faster than the earlier ones, but
still remains a guess-improve process.

February 12, 2007

I continue to be amazed by the requests on the
electronic newsgroups for circuits using the
horribly obsolete and dysfunctional 555 timer
and other bits and pieces of CMOS logic.

I suspect this is mostly lazy students in woefully
outdated electronics courses.
These days, of course,
it is ridiculously cheaper/faster/better to use a
PIC instead.

February 11, 2007

Things seem somewhat quiet on the Arizona
Auction
scene. While there are bunches of plain
old stuff auctions, there's been a long dry spell
over anything high tech or useful to me.

I'm very much looking for additional bulk new
but older electronic components. The only local
source is so competitive that I can't afford to play.

The changes in Arizona and New Mexico mil
surplus appear permanent
. At least for now,
all Arizona stuff gets shipped to northern Utah,
and all New Mexico stuff goes to Colorado.
Except for scrap and a very few strange vehicles.

February 10, 2007

The online services of electronic distributors have
recently gotten a lot better. Much more data and
better searching. Although still in some ways not
as convenient as traditional printed catalogs.

Several leading electronic distributors include...

         Allied Electronics
         Digikey
         Future
         Jameco
         Mouser
         Newark

Important electronic trade journals include...

         Battery Power Products
         E. E. Times
         Electronic Design
         Electronic Design News
         Electronic Component News
         LED Journal

Several electromechanical distributors include...

         McMaster-Carr
         MSC Specialties
         Small Parts
         W.W.Grainger

And their trade journals include...

        Design News
        Machine Design

February 9, 2007

P&Issed off coach to his team at halftime: "OK, we
are going to go back to the basics. Now, this here,
this is a football".

Kriblinsky from the back of the locker room " Hey,
coach. Not so fast!"

February 8, 2007

Made some further improvements to our new ultra
fast Magic Sinewave Calculator.

A GuruGram is in process.

February 7, 2007

As we've seen a time or two before, I very much
prefer to use plain old Paint, freeware Imageview32,
and my own custom routines for image postprep.

Here's a collection of obscure Paint tips...

    KEEP YOUR SCANNER CLEAN -- It is
     much easier to start with a clean scan than
     have to remove glitches and sugar later.

    CENTER YOUR SCANS -- Objects that are
    not centered on your scanner will produce
    distortions that are hard to repair.

    ONE PIXEL ALIGNMENT -- Making
    appropriate horizontal and vertical edges
    perfectly aligned dramatically improves edge
    sharpness. Especially when scanner depth of
    field is an &Issue.

    KNOCKOUT TO MOTTLED -- Knocking
    out to a slightly mottled color background
    dramatically reduces JPEG edge artifacts.

    FIX KEYSTONES -- Use custom code
    when needed on camera images to force a
    perfect "architects 2D perspective" where
    all perceived vertical lines are really so.

    SYMMETRY IS YOUR FRIEND -- Those
    flip and rotate commands can enormously
    simplify and speed up your layouts. Do one
    corner, then mirror the others.

   USE GUIDE LINES -- To be sure of vertical
    or horizontal alignment of something with
    breaks in it, put a temporary horizontal or
    vertical line way out in the knockout region.
    Then copy both the item and the line.

    THE OPEN LASSO TRICK -- To replicate
    or knockout along an otherwise difficult
    slanty line, use the lasso with an open end
    whose slope matches your work area.

    THE WEDGIE -- If a circularly symmetric
    item only has one really good looking area,
    cut out a 45 degree wedge and use flip and
    rotate to octuple it into a whole.

February 6, 2007

Brought our GuruGram library almost up to date.

Some of the new GuruGrams in the works are a
tutorial on our new and ultrafast and possibly near
deterministic Magic Sinewave calculators, volume
6 and possibly 7 of our eBay enhancements, a new
tutorial on classic sinewave generation, and a sneaky
way to use PostScript to solve Sudoku puzzles.

Plus a way to get 8 decimal point precision reported
in PostScript, and a rather useful higher power
and current limiting continuity tester.

Posting speed depends upon your participation as
a Synergetics partner or banner advertiser.

February 5, 2007

When we went to selling thousands of lower cost
electronic component lots on eBay from fewer
higher cost items, it became obvious that some
sort of inventory control was essential.

The trick is to get "just enough" controls in place
that you do not spend bunches of time on items that
may not sell. Or otherwise waste or misdirect energy.

Tighter controls become especially important when
any hired help has to know the differences between,
say, a type N connector or a UHF connector. Or
between a regular banana jack, a mini banana jack,
or a pin jack. Or a dozen variants of identical looking
DIP relays.

Bee and I both prefer plain old 3x5 cards, so we
use a mix of these and spreadsheets. Similarly,
you can guess, weigh, or count items, and a mix
here is essential for sanity.

Large quantity items start off in shipper's boxes
and downgrade into drawer slots or else jiffy bags
in the quart, gallon, and two gallon sizes as sold.

Each item has an ITEM CARD associated with it.
On this card is the exact eBay description and the
exact image URL. Along with a sketch of the item
with key differences between it and potential mixups.
Remaining quantities are also shown, as is the item
location. The latter is important during setup.

Each listing has a LISTING CARD associated with
it. This stays near the workstation, and goes into
an active or a previously sold file. The listing card
has the eBay history with specific item numbers,
the quantities sold, and the dates sold. It also has
the exact image URL, estimated or exact remaining
inventory, and the location of the stock.

Pricing usually starts out as "one sixth of new stock
at a major distributor"
. Pricing gets adjusted on how
fast the item sells and on how many items remain
in inventory. Obviously, if you have 35 of something
left, you do not want to sell in lots of 12. You instead
drop the count to lots of 11. Any dregs can go into
a bargain cabinet assortment later. Or cover you for
a misread or mixup.

The minimum breakeven sale on eBay is somewhere
around $19.63, so our lots usually will open at one half
of this price. Most buyers "start a tab" and each
shipped order is typically well above breakeven.

With lower prices, you do get into too much p&Issing
around. Worse yet, the minimum shipping becomes
too large a fraction of the total price.

We normally do not give any price reductions if the
total billing is under $70 or so. Moderate discounts
may happen above this point, and very generous ones
for substantially larger deals.

We also emphatically, absolutely, and totally will not
sell
to a foreign bidder/buyer/transshipment. The risk
factors are waay too high and the closing costs and
time involvement are far too exorbitant.

Much more on our auction help library page.

February 4, 2007

We have great heaping bunches of subminiature
switches up on eBay. Sadly, only some of these
include their very unusual 1/4-40 panel mounting
nuts
. Our present policy will be to try and borrow
nuts off unsold stock to supply current sales.

These nuts are enormously difficult to find at
reasonable prices. Mouser has just about every
other panel nut you could want cheaply, and
McMaster Carr has them at nearly twenty cents
each. And refuse to quantity discount.

And the nut suppliers will not even talk to you
below 50,000 quantity. Rudeness and arrogance
and unanswered emails appear to be the industry
norm. And their prices remain outrageous. Even
for diecast rather than screw machine parts.

Note that this is an ultra fine pitch. Normal threads
in a quarter inch are typically 1/4-20 coarse, 1/4-28
fine, and 1/4-32 very fine. Needed here is 1/4-40.

If you have a secret low cost source for these
( price goal is three cents each ), please email me.

February 3, 2007

We seem to be about halfway through the liquidation
of classic electronic distributor components that we
have up on eBay. We presently sell out of an average
of one item per day
.

In general, we typically have several dozen to several
hundred of any one particular item, which we try to
lot into reasonable quantity groups.

Some of the more unusual items remaining are precision
machine sliders
, very large resistors suitable for load
banks and industrial heating, snap-action thermostats,
high voltage feedthru caps, crystal oscillator modules,
classic microswitches, and kilowatthour meters.

Plus lots of classic leaded capacitors that are perfect
for vacuum tube electronics, and other places where
traditional construction or repair items are demanded.

And, of course, we still have the entire world's remaining
supply of white banana jacks.

I'm definitely looking for additional classic distributor
inventory, but the deals seem highly competitive and
few and far between. Please email me if you have
any stock available at distress pricing.

February 2, 2007

It continues to amaze me that many individuals
either cannot comprehend the related twin concepts
of net energy and total return on investment. Or else
steadfastly refuse to believe in them.

The economy is profoundly and fundamently driven
by net energy resources. A net energy resource is one
that delivers more energy into the economy than it
removes from it in its creation, financing, and delivery.

An economy uses "dollars" or something similar to
keep score. One useful definition of a "dollar" is
a voucher exchangeable for the personal use and
control of ten kilowatt hours of electricity of thirty
kilowatt hours of gasoline
. Gasoline having less
value because of its intrinsically lower exergy.

Sometimes dollars will be tightly coupled to the value
of energy. Such as that unleaded $2.05 sign down the
street. Other times, the relation between dollars and
energy may be obscured or temporarily altered by
taxes, subsidies, or market factors.

But in the case of a typical utility buyback in a net
metering state, a current dime is often contractually
DEFINED as one current kilowatt hour of electricity
.
The two become fully fungible and interchangeable
commodities. You thus have your choice of keeping
score with dimes or with kilowatt hours.

If your conventional silicon pv solar facility is generating
two dimes worth of electricity a day, and its amortization
cost
is three dimes a day, you have a net energy sink that
is doing nothing but destroying gasoline or other net energy
equivalents.

The longer you run it, the more gasoline you destroy.

Sorry, but paying cash does not make any difference,
because the amortization gets replaced with an equivalent
excluded opportunity cost. And having any value at all
left after financing is complete is simply a distortion that
is correctable by properly full burdened accounting.

And, of course, subsidies and tax credits simply make
matters a lot worse. Because of their hidden cost
"iceberg effect".

A more subtle point even more often not picked up on is
that if you are generating three dimes worth of electricity
at an amortization cost of three dimes a day, you still do
NOT have a net energy source!
All you have is a poorly
disguised "paint it green"and wildly indirect conversion
of traditional energy sources into a solar energy illusion.

Only when the dimes produced exceed the amortization
cost does any net energy gain result. And then only to the
extent of the ratio of the dimes in versus dimes out.

Much more in our Energy Fundamentals tutorial.

February 1, 2007

Thinking about Carl and Jerry got me to reminiscing
about my ninth grade electronics lab I created in the
basement, pretty much on a zero budget. Most of the
stuff was built from scratch or obsolete hand-me-downs
from a radio service shop.

I started with a homebrew multimeter built from a
Shurite meter with probes made from nails and
insulation off house wire. ( Yeah - uphill both ways in
the snow. Barefoot. ) This got combined with an
ancient Weston AC Analyzer with a broken meter
pointer, an out-of-date tube tester, a signal tracer,
a rf generator that was really intended for calibrating
pushbutton dial radios, a speaker, and a kludged up
vacuum tube intercom and audio amplifier.

By far the most important tools were a neon lamp
tester and, of course, a holster mounted Weller
soldering gun.

More details here.

January 31, 2007

A credible case can be made that just about everybody in
the US who ended up in electronics during the 1950's to
1970's did so because of the original Popular Electronics
newsstand magazine. By strongly motivating them in or
even well before high school.

I strongly feel that Perry Ferrell, the PE editor, was one
of the most important and underappreciated individuals
in the entire personal computer revolution. Who literally
created the individuals who created the revolution.

One of the mainstays of the mag was a fiction column
authored by a John T. Frye called Carl & Jerry. Carl
and Jerry were both prototypical hardware nerds, long
before the term even existed.

And, amazingly as told to me by Les Solomon, John was
apparently wheelchair bound and unable to participate
personally in any of the Carl and Jerry adventures. Les
and other PE staff would meet with John and vet the
stories for feasibility and credibility.

In many ways, I guess I was Carl, albeit a shorter and
more obnoxiously wiseassed version. Per these details.

At any rate, you can find many of the Carl and Jerry
stories here on the web. And Jeff Duntemann is newly
publishing a series of reprints of the original stories.
Besides his online tribute page.

Had the stories continued, of course, Carl would have
ended up as a universally despised and triply divorced
"reality distortion field" megatech CEO. And Jerry
would be relearning to tie his shoes after a seemingly
minor recreational drug mishap.

January 30, 2007

A custom chart or graph can often dramatically
simplify many classes of puzzles or problems.
These are easily done using PostScript and my
Gonzo Utilities. Very often, you can create the
chart and use it many times faster than trying
to directly solve the problem.

The secret keys to the kingdom, of course, lie in
Using PostScript as a General Purpose Computing
Language.


There's apparently a group of popular highly time
wasting numeric puzzles called Sudoku. A custom
chart lets you solve these as fast as you can make
648 marks on a sheet of paper
. With very little
thought or attention to detail.

The code appears here and the charts here. This
uses a variation on my favorite and top secret
programming technique of table lookup. In this
case we might call it table lookdown.

Enter one number into its big square on the form.
Then cross out every small number in the same
row, same column, or same 3x3 region.
Continue
till all the initial numbers are entered.

At that point, chances are very good that at least
one new number crossout group has only a single
number left.
Chase these through the same way
you did the others.

Very rarely, a second technique may be needed.
Consider a row, column, or a region, say a row.
Say further that three empty squares remain and
that 1,3,6 are the only candidates. Say one empty
square allows 1,3, a second 1,3, and a third 1,3,6.
You now know the only place the six can go on that
row, column or region, so you continue.

More details on Gonzo in our PostScript Beginner
Stuff
, and in any file ( GuruGram, Tech Musings,
or otherwise ) that ends in .PSL.

I might try to work up a GuruGram on this.

January 29, 2007

As we saw in our Tech Innovations tutorial and our
Fun with Fields demo GuruGrams, throwing another
million or two calculations at a problem
has become
an eminently practical way to make new discoveries.

A process called quantization occurs whenever
analog data is digitized. Usually, quantization adds
noise and reduces performance. In the case of my
Magic Sinewaves, with quantizations useful in an
8-bit PIC environment, most of the zeroed harmonics
do acquire some energy. Typically -65 db or lower.

But every once in a while quantization can actually
help you rather than hurt you
. While a found and
quantized magic sinewave may degrade, a very
few of the nearby ones might give you improved
harmonic rejection, possibly by three to ten decibels.

I call this my "shake the box" method. In which you
check the nearest million or so magic sinewave
candidates by jittering the one you have. You do
this by adding or removing one bit from each space
and pulse width in combination.

All of which recently led to a cute little algorithm
we'll look at here. In the case of a seven pulse per
quadrant magic sinewave, there will be seven pulses
and eight spaces. But the final space is fixed by the
others, so we are left with fourteen variables.

The obvious thing to do is to set up 14 nested loops
each one of which can assume -1, 0, or 1 states.
Some reflection will reveal that there are 4,782,969
of these. But you do not want any interaction between
amplitude and frequency, so only those loop states
that sum to zero
are normally useful.

It turns out that there are a mere 616,227 "good"
candidates out of the total. So a dramatic speedup
should be possible if we modify our loops to exclude
what we do not want.

Make the seven outer loops "normal" ones that
can assume -1, 0, or +1 values. On the "inside"
of the seventh loop, accumulated values can range
from minus seven through zero to plus seven.

If -7, then loop 8 can only be +1 if we are to guarantee
ending up with a zero total.
If -6, then loop 8 can only
be 0 or +1. For values between -5 and +5, loop 8 can
assume all three values. If +6, then loop 8 can only
be 0 or -1, and if +7, then loop 8 must be -1.

This only slightly reduces the number of calculations,
but as we repeat the process for inner nested loops,
the benefits pile up. Loop 9 can only accept values
between -5 and +5, with similar simplifications. Loop
10 only can work with -4 to +4, and so on.

Finally, there is no need at all for loop 14, which is
where the biggest benefit happens. For its input
will always be -1, 0, or +1, for which it has to be
1, 0 or -1 to guarantee a zero result.

All of which means you only have to make a
few hundred thousand calculations instead of
six million ones
. Present process time is around
five seconds and about a six to one speedup.

We also used this "modified nested loops" concept
back in PUZZLE1.PDF.

More as this develops.

January 28, 2007

We pride ourselves in having the best photos on
eBay, bar none. And strongly feel that the extra
effort spent in postproc gives a very high return
for the time expended
.

We usually have a goal of one pixel precision on
most any horizontal or vertical line in the final
image. This gives you the maximum possible
edge sharpness.
Especially when starting with
a scanned image whose edges may be slightly
out of focus.

One pixel alignment when combined with a
mottled background also dramatically reduces
JPEG edge artifacts
. Another benefit is that
you can use Paint's Flip/Rotate to replicate
edges and corners. And a plain old copy to
"chase" and extend edges. For slanty lines, you
simply use the lasso tool to grab an open piece
of background whose slope nearly matches
that of the line.

Much more ( including free distortion correction,
vignetting, knockout, and similar utilities ) on
our Auction Help and Fonts & Images libraries.

January 27, 2007

When you quantize a Magic Sinewave solution so it
"fits" a reasonable microprocessor, the distortions
will deviate from zero. Some new plots of this effect
are created here and viewed here.

The original choice was to get a 10 MHz PIC clock
to get you as close to 60 Hertz as possible, consistent
with no third harmonic for delta friendly use. This gave
us a binary word near 41664. Which is divisible by 4 to
10416 bits per quadrant, and by 3 for delta friendly.
The resultant frequency is 60.00384 Hertz, which
should be close enough.

This choice gives us all harmonics to the 27th reduced
to at least -65 decibels before any filtering and looks like
a "not half bad" engineering compromise. But as the
scatterplot shows us, this choice is somewhat worse than
average
for the lowest possible unfiltered distortions.
It appears in red on the scatterplot.

Two other alternatives are the orange 10395 which has
no 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, or 11th harmonic residues. But the
remaining harmonics are strong enough to only give us
about a two decibel total harmonic rejection over 10416.

Another candidate is the magenta 11781 which has no
3rd, 7th, 9th , 11, or 17th harmonic residues and very
little energy in the others. Giving us about an eight
decibel improvement over 10416.

Curiously, the lowest black dot in the neighborhood
only has a zero residue for the 5th. But just happens to
have very low residues for everybody else.
And is not
delta friendly. Which suggests rather strong penalties
for forcing specific zero residues. This hit would be at
10375 bits per quadrant.


I guess we will stick with "not half bad" for now. But I
am glad I checked the options.

Much more in our Magic Sinewave library.

January 26, 2007

Great heaping bunches of utterly clueless newspaper,
Slashdot, and tv "exposes" of the heinous crime of
eBay shilling seem to be coming out of the woodwork.

Here are the facts...

      Shilling is NOT at all illegal under the Uniform
      Commercial Code section 2-328 if preannounced
      or if part of a distress sale. Otherwise, if and
      when challenged, all that happens is that the
      price reverts to the pre shill level.

      Shilling simply DOES NOT WORK on eBay!
      Two essential elements of shilling are mark
      demeanor feedback
and auctioneer bailout.
      ( I'm sorry sir -- I could have sworn you had
      your hand up! ) Both of these are utterly and
      totally absent on eBay.

     An eBay seller dumb enough to attempt any
     shilling will also be making enough other
     stupid mistakes to guarantee their demise.
     For any shill that wins -- loses.
     
     A perfect 100 percent defense against any
     eBay shilling attemps is to simply proxy
     bid your max ONCE very late in the auction
.
     If your price goals are met, it does not matter
     in the least
how the price got to that point.

Much more in our eBay Buying Secrets tutorial
and in our Auction Help library.

January 25, 2007

Here's a tentative preliminary demo of our new
ultra fast Magic Sinewave calculation scheme.

Results can be thousands of times faster than before.

I'll try to work up a GuruGram or two on this as
time permits.

January 24, 2007

Just noticed a new Wikimapia.org service. In
which you (or anybody) can annotate Google Maps
to provide info on what is located where.

January 23, 2007

A reminder that two very interesting newer trade
journals are the LED Journal and Battery Power
Products and Technology
. Both free by telling them
what they want to hear on their qualification forms.

LED's are coming on like gangbusters. 80 Lumens
per watt is routine, and 120 or higher in development.
Thus nearly EIGHT TIMES as efficient as many
incandescents. And much more when comparing a
tiny bulb on a flashlight with a weak battery.

Dealing with heat remains a problem. Leaving present
devices at the three to five watt level. But they are
easily used in groups. Prices seem to be in free fall.

Here's a good source for exceptionally reliable
scientific and emergency lighting.

January 22, 2007

At least some county websites are good enough that
you can do most, if not all, appraisals on your own.

As this example shows, you can get images of every
property in the county
, its previous recent sales
history
, its owners, paper holders, along with paid
and unpaid taxes.

And, very conveniently, an automatic gathering of
comparable properties just sold. Plus bunches more.

January 21, 2007

Not only has spam become alarming ( we now get
2000+ per day, dozens of which are not yet caught
by our ISP filters ), but the spam is now feeding on
itself.

The latest versions of spam attach a .GIF message
and thus each message is now dozens to hundreds
of times longer than before. Further, the same tricks
used to beat the spam filters are obvious to the recipient.

Everybody now flushes any message with a .GIF
attachment unless they immediately recognize it.
And most other spams have become blatantly
obvious. Which means that the spam return rate
is dropping dramatically. And in turn, needing ever
more
spam sent.

I say again: The web is about to choke on its own puke.
And the obvious solution is no more email with postage due.

January 20, 2007

Another entry in the Santa Claus Machine sweepstakes
has been newly described. This one is a variation on
inkjet techniques
and appears best for smaller and hollow
parts.

January 19, 2007

Exactly what is a "solution" to a math problem? An
engineer will take "whatever is close and works", while
a mathematician will insist on a precise and rigorous
evaluation.

One approach to nasty problems is to use Newton's
Method.
In which you make a good guess and then
improve that guess. If you can make your guess good
enough, there is no need for iteration. And iterations
that converge very rapidly may ease or eliminate the
need for a better initial guess.

It appears that my Magic Sinewaves may end up
being deterministic after all. And thus insanely
( 1000x ) faster to calculate. At present, a new
guess method and a fancier improve method
gives rough answers in one pass, superb ones in
two, and manic ones ( harmonics zeroed to fifteen
decimal places) in three.

Current thinking on the guess end is to make
each carrier phase contribution match its
sine squared fraction of the total. This greatly
reduces all harmonics except the 27th ( or highest
harm to be zeroed ). A phase lowering amplitude
dependent adjustment of a double frequency
sinewave nicely takes out most of the latter with
little muss or fuss.

If you are near to a solution, there is a precise
method of greatly improving it that depends on
an obscure trig identity of cos(a+x) = cos(a)cos(x) -
sin(a)sin(x)
. Whose first order approximation for
small x is cos(a) - x*sin(a). And, expectably, matches
the usual Newton's method of previous guess + x*slope.

An improved approximation currently being explored
is cos(a)*(1 -x*x/2) - sin (a)*( x - x*x*x/6).

Meanwhile, it appears, that magic sinewaves MAY
be either deterministic
or nearly so, and that dramatic
speedups are possible
and have been demonstrated.

I'll try to post some examples shortly. Meanwhile, your
support
is need for further development of this exciting
energy efficiency improvement opportunity.

January 18, 2007

Two plus two equals four.
Except for very large values of two.

More at http://www.tinaja.com/glib/marcia.pdf

January 17, 2007

Got an email with the following question: What
is the volume of 1 kilogram of hydrogen pressurized
to 200 psi?


Ignoring the obvious answer of "huge and not worth
p&Issing over
", more precise solutions are easily
gotten in a few seconds with routine web research.

Using nothing but eighth grade math.

Let's see. 200 psi is roughly 200/14.7 = 13.6 atmospheres.
Volume normally varies inversely with pressure, so you
can store 13.6 times the weight of hydrogen as you could
at STP. But note that this formula does NOT work for
more extreme pressures!

The density of hydrogen is easily web found as 0.08988 g/L.
The density at 13.6 atmospheres would be 1.222 grams
per liter. Or 0.8183 liters per gram. Or 818.3 liters
per kilogram.

This, of course, neglects the energy lost during compression
and the energy needed to pay for the amortization. It also
neglects the tank size which would appreciably add to
this total.

It is interesting to compare this terrorist bomb against
gasoline. Hydrogen stores approximately 3 watthours per
liter of energy STP. At 13.1 atmospheres, just under 40
watthours per liter. Gasoline has 9000. So the volume
required for the gas alone would be 22.5 times an equivalent
amount of gasoline.


We have already seen here why the gaseous "hydrogen
economy" is a ludicrous joke that ain't gonna happen.

More in our Energy Fundamentals tutorial and on our
Its A Gas Hydrogen library.

January 16, 2007

Is there an optimum selling price point on eBay?

I certainly feel there is, and that that price point is
( not coincidentally ) the same as a bag or two of
groceries
. Or something in the $39 to $59 range.

While results will vary wildly with item, condition,
demand, and season, it is typically a lot easier and
a lot more reliable to sell ten $68 items rather than
one $680 one.
Particularly since one problem at $680
wipes everything out and one at $68 is pretty much
negligible.

So, as price goes up, demand diminishes, closing
time increases, and risk increases. At the low end,
$19.63 or so is the breakeven level for a closing
sale on eBay.

What is left is a curve that probably will look
something like a Rayleigh Distribution, perhaps
with a sigma of 1.5 and a peak just under $49.00.

Much more on our Auction Help library page.

January 15, 2007

Some minor updates on the Arizona Auction Scene:

The U/A surplus website has been down for "redesign"
for a month now. Don't know whether their auctions are
continuing or when and if online info will resume.

Christine Sullivan has an outstanding auction coming
up Saturday the 27th. For some reason, it is only
listed on the Caboodle & Gauge site. I'll likely miss
at least part of this one as it is the same date as the
ARA paper regional.

Military surplus in Arizona continues to be a bad scene.
Apparently all smaller items are sent to northern Utah.
Government Liquidation now only seems to be offering
a few scrap lots and strange vehicles. Both AZ and NM.

More Arizona auctions listings here, general auction
help and tutorials here, and your own custom local
auction finder service here.

January 14, 2007

We are looking to buy a 2003 4Runner. Has to be 4WD,
prefer tow package, SE Arizona, and private party. We
will pay a finder's fee if the deal is good enough.

You can email me with your info.

January 13, 2007

Another curiously understated web newsgroup myth involves
the total area needed for pv solar panels to match current US
energy demand. Assuming, of course, that panels capable of
fully burdened true accounted net energy generation eventually
become possible. Through CIGS or Quantum Dots or similar
developments. Ain't no way conventional silicon pv is gonna
hack it.

The cell efficiency is not the site area efficiency!

First, you have to allow for synchronous conversion and
protection diode losses. Second, there are cell aging effects.
Third, the cells rarely cover all of the panel because of edge
and geometry considerations. Fourth, the panels in a large
system are unlikely to continuously track. Fifth, there have
to be service and maint areas surrounding the panels.

And sixth, since $5 per acre land is more likely to be used for
utility pv than $5 million per acre land, areal efficiency is
likely to remain a rather low priority
.

Seventh are days of available sunshine. And, of course, eighth
is the six hours of operation per day which gives an equivalence
of something like one quarter of a comparable coal plant.

Finally, ninth is the cost ratio compared to conventional
equivalents
. If a dime's worth of electricity is produced at
an amortization cost of a nickel, the overall net efficiency
drops by 50 percent and the equivalent area has to double.

The Springerville facility gives us some interesting real world
numbers for comparison. Its areal efficiency is something around
two percent, owing to the above factors. Scaling up to the size
of its neighboring coal plant, its area would be around 26 square
miles, or likely much more than that of the coal plant and its
mine combined.


Springerville, of course, still represents a net energy sink
because of the site amortization grossly exceeding the
peaking power avoided costs. But it still remains a useful
baseline for estimating what eventually might happen.

A realistic area efficiency estimation given panels capable
of fully burdened true net energy generation would thus
seem to me as something like fifty square miles per gigawatt.

Which is ridiculously higher than many newsgroup estimates.
Much more in our Energy Fundamentals tutorial.

January 12, 2007

We are somewhat over one third of the way of clearing
our recent acquisition of an entire electronics store
inventory on eBay.

About 150 items are sold out, 350 listed, and around
650 yet to list. Most of the remaining inventory is
capacitors, switches, relays, connectors, and older
DIP integrated circuits and power semiconductors.

Plus we have cornered the world market on white
banana jacks
.

All of the items are absolutely first rate, most of them
being aerospace production overstock. Many may
no longer be current production or older inventory.
Most items are leaded for conventional thru-hole
pc mounting.

Pricing is typically one-sixth that of current inventory
distributors. We sometimes adjust this price level
for how many units can be shipped at a minimum cost
increment, how many units we have remaining, or the
item popularity, hardware availability, and its sell rate.

We pretty much have a $9.83 minimum, which is
one-half of the minimum eBay sale breakeven. There
may be reasonable discounts for reasonable sized orders,
and even better ones for "I'll take all you have left". We
even had buybacks from the original manufacturers!

A reminder that none of these items are ROHS compatible,
and that our policy of no foreign bidders/buyers/transshipments
is always strictly enforced. We do try to combine shipping as
best as possible on multiple orders
. And regular customers
are encouraged to "start a tab" when bidding over a few days
to a week or two.

We try to be accurate in our descriptions and try to promptly
answer reasonable questions. Most products are guaranteed
usable. While next day shipping is our usual goal, our shipping
department is on extreme flex time.

If an item is not listed, chances are we either sold out or
have not yet gotten to it. Yes, personal inspection is
welcome and we waive all shipping charges on local pickup.
Some of our storage requires special access, so email first.

January 11, 2007

The concept of a "pv solar powered bus" makes no sense
whatsoever to me, despite its web newsgroup popularity.

I feel that buses should be put out of their misery by
taking them out into the back yard and burying them.
Not further tormented with totally worthless boondoggles.

The only remaining purpose of a bus is to serve as a means
of delivering prey to predators.
Curiously, this occurs at
both the "urban gang" and the "city council" levels. You
can witness the ongoing Phoenix Ludicrosity as a typical
example.

When subsidies are removed, most bus and light rail lines
most of the time on most of the trips over most of the routes
cannot remotely approach the energy efficiency per passenger
mile of a Cadillac Escalade SUV with a single occupant.
Most
especially when the calculation is made "door to door".

At any rate, back to the pv solar ridiculosity. Buses often
run in shaded urban canyons in cloudy cities with limited
insolation. Any tracking is clearly out of the question since
obvious aerodynamics prohibit it. And insolation is best
over somewhat less than six hours per day.

Even if you ignore all these obvious problems, there are
likely only to be something like twelve square meters
of available surface. With a ten percent efficient panel
at the terminals ( wildly unlikely because of the above
factors ), you would be looking at something like 600
watts deliverable to a flat panel in the Arizona Desert.

Or significantly less than one horsepower. Under real
world conditions, enough energy might be produced for
the power mirrors, provided the driver did not adjust
them too often.

This would also assume panels capable of net energy
production in an amortization time comparable to the
bus lifetime. Which, of course, has not happened yet
and is unlikely to ever happen with conventional
silicon pv technology.

This would also assume that the true fully burdened
net net cost of the energy produced was significantly
less
than conventional alternatives. If the system
produces a nickel's worth of electricity at a five
cents cost of amortization, you have accomplished
absolutely nothing. For all you have is a "paint it
green" transfer payment of conventional energy
in a not-very-clever disguise.

Much more in our Energy Fundamentals tutorial.

January 10, 2007

Some statistics to ponder:

    Fully 50 percent(!) of North Dakota school
    children are below average.

    Something like 40 percent (!) of all routine
    job absenteeism happens on Friday and Monday.
  

January 9, 2007

Are there in fact fully deterministic solutions for Magic
Sinewaves?
You seem to end up having fourteen equations
in fourteen power polynomials whose initial powers go up
to the twenty seventh. And there is a fundamental math
proof that polynomial power equations above order four
are not directly solvable
.

On the other hand, behavior very near a solution is
clearly deterministic and greatly simplifiable using
trig identities. Thus, all our variables are not strictly
independent. And, intuitively, you should be able to
modulate a carrier without introducing harmonics
.

I've recently gotten the coarse approximation improved
by bunches. And a much faster Newton's Method calculation
algorithm. Together these now can give you instant and
"not quite good enough" answers in one pass, And superb
answers in a second, and an enormously satisfying "all
harmonics zeroed to fifteen decimal places
" in a third.

All done at least a thousand times faster than before. One
problem is that this presupposes one specific class of
solutions. And does not answer the greater question of
whether further alternates exist, possibly with a suppressed
carrier or other advantages.

I'll try to post some examples shortly. Meanwhile, your
support
is need for further development of this exciting
energy efficiency improvement opportunity.

Much more in our Magic Sinewaves library.

January 8, 2007

We looked at a low end British and open source approach
to Santa Claus machines recently. Turns out there is now
a somewhat similar US effort.

January 7, 2007

Similarly, infinite series are a highly useful
tool whenever you are "near" a desired
answer or want to gain some insight over
what is coming down, or wish to calculate
new values given existing ones. Or seek
out some algorithm that may be efficiently
computed.

A Taylor Series is a variation upon a simple
power series in x. Such as a + bx +cx^2 + ...
The terms on the even powers make a fully
symmetric contribution, while the odd
powers make asymmetric ones. As we
saw back in GuruGram #69, a cubic spline
is totally useless in approximating a full
catenary because a catenary is an even
function that has no cubic or higher odd
terms.

You do have to make sure your infinite
series converges. Even then, it may not
converge fast enough for certain values.
Ferinstance, a sinewave has a series
equivalent of x - x^3/3! + x^5/5! + ...

Turns out this is quite useful for smaller
angles but at least four terms are needed
near 90 degrees. You can immediately see
why a slide rule let angles less than six
degrees equal its sine. A tenth of a radian
cubes to practically nothing, even before
dividing it by six.

The equivalent cosine series is 1 - x^2/2!
+ x^4/4! + ...
A Maclaurin series is a
Taylor series centered on zero that uses
slopes and changes of slopes as its
power coefficients.

In my recent Magic Sinewave work, I needed
some additional insight into exactly what I
thought I was computing. There is an exact trig
identity of cos (a+x) = cos(a)cos(x) - sin(a)sin(x).
If a is in the first quadrant and a>>x, then the cosine
of x will equal one and the sine of x will equal its
radian angle.

Giving us the first two Maclaurin terms of
cos(a+x) = cos(a) - xsin(a) + ... This is just
the angle plus its slope extension to the new
point. What if you need more accuracy or more
insight? The next two terms in the series are
- x^2cos(a)/2! + x^3sin(a)/3! + ... The first of
these two can be a lot stronger for small x.

More on similar topics in our Math Stuff library.

January 6, 2007

Trig Identities are a fascinating and often very
non-obvious group of relations that can easily
lead to unexpected or unusual opportunities.

Ferinstance, sin = 90 - cosine lets you find
sines given only cosines. And the "circle
formula" (sinx)^2 + cos(x)^2 = 1 lets you
find any sine given its cosine, among many
other unique possibilities.

One of the most important of trig identities is
sin(x)sin(y) = 1/2 [ cos(x-y) -cos(x+y) ] which
is the key to all radio and communications
"mixing" in which chosen sum and difference
frequencies are produced.

Another trig identity I've recently become
fascinated with over my Magic Sinewave work
is cos(a+b) = cos(a)cos(b) - sin(a)sin(b).

If b is very much smaller than a first quadrant
a, cos(b) will be pretty much unity and sin(b) in
radians will pretty much equal b. Simplifying to
cos(a+b) = cos(a) - bsin(a) for a>>b.

This is a Taylor's Series expansion that seems
like it will be useful in rapidly solving Magic
Sinewave
equations. Trouble is that so far it is
not quite good enough by itself. Giving very
rapid convergence, but not an instant answer.

The next two expansion terms are apparently
- (cos(a)/2) b^2 + (sin(a)/6) b^3. I might be able
to do something with these.

More as this develops.

January 5, 2007

A preliminary PostScript 8-decade reporting
utility has been posted here. Please report any
problems or suggestions.

I'll try to work up a GuruGram tutorial on
this shortly.

January 4, 2007

We also have a unique five acres for sale in
an extremely remote ( think survivalist ) area
immediately adjacent to the East Fork of the
Gila River
and surrounded by New Mexico's
Gila Wilderness.

3 074 074 248 118 District-02N Section 11
Township 13 S Range 13W PT NH 4.7Acres

Taxes are currently $2.79 per year.

Access is by foot or horse only. You can
email me for more details on this stunningly
unusual opportunity. Asking $6900 per acre
with financing available.

January 3, 2007

Our Southern Oregon Gold Hill spectacular view
property is now listed here.

We've purposely priced these 20 acres at well
under market because a solvable easement
&Issue needs resolved before homesite approval
can be granted. We have hired land planning
specialists to assist us in this easement resolution.

Power is on the property and very attractive
financing is available. Mid-size city amenities are
twelve minutes away. The Rogue River is nearby;
beaches and mountains are an hour away.

Here's some photos...

You can click expand these. Then click again.

This steep to sloping parcel is immediately adjacent to the Gold
Hill
city limits and offers absolutely outstanding views. It is in one
of the most in-demand rural areas in the country, and has really great
access both to recreation and to midsize city resources. Plus superb
climate, low crime, and good schools.

Here is a map. Property is the green rectangle "pointed to" by
Thirteenth Street.

January 2, 2007

Closed out the 2006 What's New blog entries as two files.
http://www.tinaja.com/whtnu06a.shtml is January to June
and http://www.tinaja.com/whtnu06 is July to December.

Clicking on whtnu06b gives you whtnu06. We will probably
split 2007 into more than two sections to try and keep the
file sizes down. Our goal is new and useful content daily.

January 1, 2007

Turns out that PostScript gladly reports integers up to
two billion or so to full accuracy. So the trick to picking
up another two decimal points of floating point reported
precision is to normalize each real to an integer in the
ten to hundred million range
, convert it to a string, and
then dink around with the string to replace the decimal
point and sign.

Here's a simple and preliminary example that is only
good for reals between 1.0000000 and 9.9999999...

      
    /unitsto8dp { dup 0 le /isneg exch store
          abs /val exch store /workstr val 10000000
          mul cvi 20 string cvs store isneg {(-)}{( )}
          ifelse workstr 0 1 getinterval mergestr
          (.) mergestr workstr 1 workstr length 1 sub
          getinterval mergestr 20 string cvs } store

This routine uses my mergestr routine from my
Gonzo Utilities...

   
     /mergestr {2 copy length exch length add
        string dup dup 4 3 roll 4 index length exch
        putinterval 3 1 roll exch 0 exch putinterval
                             } def

I'll try to work up a GuruGram on a more general
solution.

December 31, 2006

I feel it is a good rule to always typeset first and edit
last.
The exact arrangement and appearance of your
work is equally important as the words themselves.

And yes, spelling counts.

December 30, 2006

Spam seems to be accelerating at an insane pace,
and it is not too difficult to predict an imminent and
total collapse of the web
because of it.

At present, we receive something like 2000 spam
messages a day, most of which are trapped by our
ISP filtering. Compared to a few dozen worthwhile
messages.

The alarming thing is that the spam to useful ratio
is dramatically accelerating.
Further, the spam feeds
on itself. Since everybody now recognizes the tricks
to bypass the spam filters ( .GIF files, m&Isspellings,
random words, repeated contacts, etc etc...) many more
spam messages have to be sent out
to get even
remotely near their previous return.

The solution is simple: No more email arriving with
postage due.

December 29, 2006

There is apparently now a New England NEEIC
alternative to the California PIER new energy grants.

December 28, 2006

Overheard some alternate energy enthusiasts who
were lavishly praising Sterling engines as the
ultimate solution to low delta-t energy recovery.

It quickly became obvious that they did not have
the faintest clue of the underlying thermodynamics
or economics.

To date, the Sterling engine has been one of the
largest and most monumental engineering ratholes
of all times. Here is why...

    Carnot Matters -- There is a fundamental and
     unavoidable law of thermodynamics that says
     the best possible efficiency of any heat engine
     is proportional to the absolute temperature
     delta fraction. Thus your best possible efficiency
     a 20 degree rise at 70 degree F room temperature
     would be 20/(459+70) = 3.8 percent. And no
     real world system can be even this good.

    Efficiency Matters --As efficiency goes down,
    the size and complexity of the energy recovery
    device will disproportionately increase in a
    hyperbolic or worse manner for a given set of
    recovery values. Which is why absolutely free
    pv solar panels of less than six percent efficiency
    are totally commercially useless.

    Amortization Matters -- If your energy recovery
    device is producing an average of two cents worth
    of electricity per day and your total cost of ownership
    is three cents per day, you have a gasoline destroying
    net energy sink. The longer you run it, the more
    gasoline you destroy

   Gotchas Matter -- A Sterling engine needs a
    special part called a regenerator. Regenerators
    have to be long and thin and short and fat.
    They also have to be very good conductors of
    heat and outstanding insulators. Extreme
    engineering compromise is needed and nobody
    has come up with a good regeneration solution
    to date.

Much more in our Energy Fundamentals tutorial.

December 27, 2006

Got some demo code tentatively working for
some ultrafast Magic Sinewave solutions given
a good initial guess. It seems hundreds or even
thousands of times faster
than before.

It is based on factoring the equations into a
guess cosine and an error term that ( presently )
is slope estimated. Rearranging the terms
and substituting leaves n linear equations in
n unknowns. This is easily and quickly solvable
by Gauss Jordan elimination.

At present, the solution is "not quite" one step.
A few iterations are still required. But they
do quickly drive the distortion down to all
zeros out to fifteen decimal places
, and the
amplitude to a similarly exact value.

It sure is satisfying to see all those zeros.
And nothing but zeros on the forced harmonic
terms. Often with five or fewer passes.

I suspect an exact one step solution exists.
Fully deterministic for a valid initial guess.

Instead of a slope approximation of minus the
sine, a trig identity of cos (a+b) = cos(a)cos(b) -
sin(a)sin(b)
might prove of value. But it seems
like there might be a second factor or some
larger interfering error yet to be discovered.

Preliminary code can be made available to
Synergetics Partners and associates at present.

Some useful things the faster code may assist
with: Exploring sinewaves with many hundreds
and possibly thousands of harmonics zeroed
.
This would dramatically simplify filtering,
offer wide frequency operation, and raising of
uncontrolled harmonics out of the audio range.
At the cost of reduced efficiency and fancier
chips/programming.

And discovering scalable code for variable n
that does not require extensive reworking for
each and every n to be analyzed.

And finding new classes of Magic Sinewave solutions
beyond the six or so that are presently known.
Something that would give a "suppressed carrier"
would certainly be handy. Possibly with two pulses
of the "wrong" polarity early in the mix. Or of
multi amplitude stepped supply solutions.

A Magic Sinewave intro appears here.

December 26, 2006

Can the math precision and accuracy of PostScript
be improved? Its out-of-the-box six decimal point
reported answers were not quite good enough for at
least some of my Magic Sinewave research.

A case can be made that more than six decimal
results would only lengthen font files without any
measurable result in most graphic applications.

But 31 bit plus sign math should be good for two
billion states, or over nine decimal points. Minus
where they stopped in any of their transcendental
approximation algorithms. And minus what their
floating point routines allow..

Here's a preliminary experiment: The square root
of two in PS returns 1.41421 . Rounding to four
decimal places and subtracting gives .0000135899.

Combining the two returns 1.4142 1358 99. Compared
against the "real" answer of 1.4142 1356 23. Which
is right on at eight decimal places, and not too bad
at nine.

A simple text reformatter that does the combinations
for you should be possible. And based on our Gonzo
mergestr convenience operator.

Again, you would have to compare exactly what you
wanted against the individual algorithms in use for the
fancier functions.

Adobe does state a precision of "approximately" eight
decimal digits.
And apparently are using single precision
IEEE 754 floating point
. Because of a "normalization"
scheme in this, they are able to make several bits serve
double uses, resulting in the claimed precision.

Possibly more later.

December 25, 2006

Do we have yet another bogus water powered car
fiasco coming down? The known ( and repeatedly
remeasured zillions of times daily ) energy density
of STP hydrogen is 2.7 watthours per STP liter
electrically recoverable or 3.3 watthours per liter
total energy.

This company appears to claim to be able to input
1.0 watthours of electricity to produce 3.3 watthours
of stored hydrogen energy. In an electrolysis related
process.

Although a stunning reversal of centuries of electrochem
and thermodynamic research is one dim possibility, I feel
that much more likely explanations are (A) the usual
ho-hum incompetent measurement of oddball waveshapes,
(B) having water vapor or other gas components in
the output stream, or (C) being yet another in a countless
stream of attempted ripoff scams.

Their 2.5x improvement claim is remarkably similar to
the difference you would expect between average and
rms currents in a typical pulse waveform situation.

As we've seen before, "perfect" and "free" electrolysis
is totally useless
when powered from high value sources
such as pv solar, wind, or grid. Because of the staggering
loss of exergy. Thermodynamic fundamentals guarantee
that a kilowatt hour of electricity is ridiculously more
valuable than a kilowatt hour of unstored hydrogen gas.
The process is pretty much the same as 1:1 converting
US dollars into Mexican Pesos
.

And that is before amortization and maintenance.

Further, if this is an onboard vehicle system, the fanbelt
alone guarantees that no more than homeopathic placebo
quantities of hydrogen can be produced. As we have seen
here in the November 19th entry.

More on energy fundamentals here, on bogus water
powered scams here, and on bashing pseudoscience
here.

July 19, 2006

We also have a unique five acres for sale in
an extremely remote (think survivalist) area
immediately adjacent to the East Fork of the
Gila River
and surrounded by New Mexico's
Gila Wilderness.

3 074 074 248 118 District-02N Section 11
Township 13 S Range 13W PT NH 4.7Acres

Taxes are currently $2.79 per year.

Access is by foot or horse only. You can
email me for more details on this stunningly
unusual opportunity. Asking $6900 per acre
with financing available.

July 18, 2006                                                                                           deeplink

Our Southern Oregon Gold Hill spectacular view
property is now listed here.

We've purposely priced these 20 acres at well
under market because a solvable easement
&Issue needs resolved before homesite approval
can be granted. We have hired land planning
specialists to assist us in this easement resolution.

Power is on the property and very attractive
financing is available. Mid-size city amenities are
twelve minutes away. The Rogue River is nearby;
beaches and mountains are an hour away.

Here's some photos...

You can click expand these. Then click again.

This steep to sloping parcel is immediately adjacent to the Gold
Hill
city limits and offers absolutely outstanding views. It is in one
of the most in-demand rural areas in the country, and has really great
access both to recreation and to midsize city resources. Plus superb
climate, low crime, and good schools.

Here is a map. Property is the green rectangle "pointed to" by
Thirteenth Street.

                                 ( earlier material appears here. ) 

 
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